Reed Smith Client Alerts

The long-awaited Supreme Court decision in Fearn and others v Board of Trustees of the Tate Gallery [2023] has this week been handed down.

Authors: Brad Trerise

Background and the Decision

The majority of the Supreme Court re-asserted the law of nuisance, moving away from the focus on privacy law which was seen in the Court of Appeal decision. It is important to note from a legal perspective that this was not a privacy law decision, despite what has been stated in the media.

The claimants own flats in a block adjacent to the Tate Modern (if you have visited the Tate, you will know which ones). The flats have glass walls and sit at the same height as the Tate’s viewing platform, opened in 2016 as part of the construction of the Blavatnik Building. At the time of the first instance decision in the High Court in 2019, hundreds of thousands of visitors would visit the viewing platform each day and look into the flats, wave at the residents, take photographs and videos and post them to social media.