The case centred on a leaflet called What's Wrong With McDonald's? which the
burger chain claimed wrongly maligned the company.
At the start of the libel action in 1994, Richard Rampton, QC, for McDonald's, asked Mr Justice Bell to put an end to a long-running campaign by environmentalists which accused it of poisoning its customers, exploiting Third World countries and using cheap labour.
The leaflet, published by the London Greenpeace group (which has no connection with Greenpeace International), contained a "wholesale attack on almost every aspect of McDonald's", said Mr Rampton.
McDonald's, he said, would not try to stop criticism, but would always seek to prevent the dissemination of false information.
Mr Rampton said the allegations were initially confined to the leaflet, but then began to appear with alarming frequency in the "respectable media", both nationally and locally.
There was a pressing need for it to be recognised in the courts and the world at large that the allegations were "a tissue of falsehood", he said.