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Carter-Ruck, Peter F(rederick) 1914-2003

CARTER-RUCK, Peter F(rederick) 1914-2003


See index for CA sketch: Born February 26, 1914, in Hove, Sussex, England; died December 19, 2003, in Great Hallingbury, Essex, England. Attorney and author. Carter-Ruck gained prominence in England as a libel lawyer representing royalty and other prominent members of British society against various newspapers. Never attending university, he was educated at St. Edward's public school before qualifying to work as a solicitor with the law firm Lee Bolton & Lee. With the beginning of World War II, he joined the British Army as a gunner in the Royal Artillery, serving with distinction and rising to the rank of captain. In 1944, he returned to law, joining the firm of Oswald Hickson, Collier & Co. as a senior partner. At first, Carter-Ruck's cases involved defending newspapers against lawsuits, but he later switched sides, so to speak, to defend prominent people from slanderous stories printed in the press. Carter-Ruck represented such elite members of society as Lord Beaverbrook, Lord Weidenfeld, Neil and Christine Hamilton, Lord Rothermere, Princess Elizabeth of Toro, and Randolph Churchill (the son of Winston). His ability to win cases and the high fees he commanded made Carter-Ruck's name synonymous with high-profile libel cases and earned him both scorn from opponents and respect from clients. When the partners at Oswold Hickson urged him to retire, Carter-Ruck left to form his own law firm, Peter Carter-Ruck and Partners, in 1981. He continued to run his firm until 1998, going into semiretirement as a legal consultant for his former firm until 2000; he also served as a consultant to the firms M Law and Pellys, and he was a fellow for the Society for Advanced Legal Studies from 1998 to 2003. Carter-Ruck wrote about his experiences in his Memoirs of a Libel Lawyer (1990). He was also the author of Libel and Slander (1972; 4th edition published as Carter-Ruck on Libel and Slander, 1992).



Independent (London, England), December 22, 2003, p. 16.

Los Angeles Times, December 23, 2003, p. B11.

Times (London, England), December 22, 2003.

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