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Bonkers Blog November 2017

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18 November (Part 3) - The law does not come cheap

BiB has reported that the total cost of the Maxine Fothergill libel case was likely to hit £350,000 because that is what one of the claimants told me, however that may not be quite as precise a figure that Bonkers would prefer to report. A bit more detail would not go amiss.

I have now waded through the file far enough to see some figures from the horse’s mouth, namely the solicitor Mark Lewis.

Bearing in mind that he is renowned in his field, phone hacking, Milly Dowler, the Fake Sheik, Katie Hopkins, he can presumably name his own price but when he saw the Maxine Fothergill papers he offered to take on the job on a no win no fee basis. Wow, he must have been confident of winning!

Technically a Conditional Fee Arrangement (CFE) coupled with an After The Event (ATE) Insurance. (Google it, I had to.)

I doubt a real Invoice exists at this early stage but I have the email in which Mark Lewis provides an estimate.

His own costs together with a success fee is put at £80,000 and he guesses that Councillor Fothergill’s legal team might charge her £60,000.

As the case was defended on a personal basis rather than in her company’s name VAT becomes payable. That was a bit of a mistake wasn’t it?

So if Mark’s estimate is correct that’s £168,000.

Then there are the two damages awards of £30,000 and £40,000. We are up to £238,000 now.

The ATE insurance premium was £50,000. Total £288,000!

On top of that Maxine Fothergill hired a private eye who would not have come cheap but we are still some way short of Mark Lewis’s £350,000 estimate.

Where did the extra come from?

So far only one Court case has been mentioned here, but there was another one. Amax Estates applied for an Injunction against Hayley Warnes and Ray Robson. The Court dismissed it almost immediately. Another costly exercise. Maybe that is what makes up the bill to £350k., not sure.

Claimant Ray Robson was correct to quote the £350,000 total because that is what his solicitor put in his email, “so well over £350,000” he said, but how he reached that figure is not clear to me.


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