Cliff Richard's ridiculous Legal Costs
Cliff Richard is suing the BBC over reports that he was being investigated for sex offences, and is in the process of claiming damages for breach of his privacy.
Earlier this week, his lawyers were in Court to discuss costs and it emerged that Cliff Richard spent almost £900,000, plus VAT, on legal advice, before his Court claim had even started.
The BBC is, quite understandably, objecting to the level of costs incurred, stating that they are “grossly unreasonable and disproportionate”.
One of the reasons the costs are so high, is reportedly because Cliff Richard’s team want there to be two trials, with the first trial dealing with the main issues in the case, and the second trial to deal with the damages that Cliff Richard should be awarded. The Court has not yet agreed to this.
Whilst it is not unusual for claims for breach of privacy and defamation to involve relatively high legal costs, the costs in this case appear to be excessive.
Judith Thompson, partner at Samuels Solicitors and defamation expert says: “Solicitors help clients achieve settlement as quickly and as cost effectively as possible. I suspect in this case that Cliff Richard will end up having to pay a large proportion of these costs himself, as I cannot see a Judge ordering the BBC to reimburse him for all of his legal fees, even if his claim is ultimately successful”.
This case highlights how important it is for all parties to consider alternative dispute resolution, particularly mediation, at as early a stage as possible.
At Samuels Solicitors we have a niche specialism in dealing with privacy, libel and slander claims. The vast majority of the cases that we deal with settle without Court proceedings being necessary. Of those where Court proceedings are issued, again the majority of those settle before trial.
Many of our defamation cases are dealt with on a conditional (no win no fee) basis, meaning that our clients do not have to pay us any legal fees as the case progresses.
If you are concerned that you are suffering from breach of privacy, or if you are the victim of libel or slander, contact us today for a free no obligation discussion about how we can help.