Mr. Baigent and Mr. Leigh are delighted to confirm that the Court of Appeal has granted Permission to Appeal the Judgment of Mr. Justice Peter Smith in the case of Baigent & Leigh -and- The Random House Group Limited.
Paul Sutton of Orchard Brayton Graham LLP, representing Mr. Baigent and Mr. Leigh, stated that “the granting of permission was inevitable when considering the extensive findings of copying”.
Judgment of Mr. Justice Peter Smith
Mr. Justice Peter Smith found that Mr. Brown copied from their book ‘The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail’ (HBHG) in writing ‘The Da Vinci Code’ (DVC) and stated that “HBHG was the essential tool for the Langdon/Teabing Lectures” that appear in DVC (see paragraph 221 of the Judgment).
Mr. Justice Peter Smith also stated that “when the character of Teabing was created the US copy of HBHG possessed by Mr. Brown and Blythe Brown was used as the primary vehicle for those lectures almost exclusively” (see paragraph 273) and that “I regard the suggestion that Mr. Brown and Blythe Brown created the Langdon/Teabing lectures from the other sources as completely unsustainable. It flies in the face of logic and the documents as carefully demonstrated by the Claimants in the annex of language similarities set out in their closing submissions. The conclusion is irresistible. Blythe Brown provided the material for the lectures with HBHG in her hands” (see paragraph 316).
Mr. Justice Peter Smith ruled that 10 of the 15 Central Theme points were drawn from HBHG and stated “I conclude that, in the main, the majority of the Central Themes were drawn from HBHG” (see paragraph 306).
Further, Mr. Justice Peter Smith said that “Language copying occurred and Mr. Brown admitted it” (see paragraph 297). Mr. Justice Peter Smith added that “Mr. Rayner James QC’s careful and cumulative cross examination forced Mr. Brown in my view to accept that the 9 language similarities were drawn from the corresponding text in HBHG” (see paragraph 312).
Notwithstanding the above findings, Mr. Justice Peter Smith found in Random House’s favour. The Appeal is based on those findings and on the errors made by the Judge in applying those facts to the law.
Mr. Baigent and Mr. Leigh believe that their Appeal should succeed, particularly considering the extensive use that Mr. Justice Peter Smith found had been made by Mr. and Mrs. Brown of The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail when writing The Da Vinci Code. Mr. Baigent and Mr. Leigh are pleased to have the opportunity to address the Court of Appeal on the issues.
Michael Baigent has confirmed to Phenomena that he and Richard Leigh have now paid in full all of the legal costs awarded to Random House in Mr Justice Peter Smith's Judgement.