July 31st, 2013

Mitchell’s Half-a-Million Libel Legal Debacle


Tomorrow we will get the judgement in a bizarre legal mess up between Andrew Mitchell’s solicitors and his celebrity barrister David Sherborne.  Due to a cock-up Mitchell’s solicitors failed to file their costs and so under the tightened rules will be punished. In front of Master McCloud there was a lot of legal buck passing last Thursday. As a result even if he wins the Plebgate libel case it is likely Mitchell will not be able to claim for his costs which are running at some £500,000.


Damages in his Plebgate libel case are capped at £150,000, so if Mitchell loses his case he could have to pay The Sun’s costs of some £600,000 and his costs of £500,000 – a whopping total of £1.1 million will be divided between him and his solicitors who were acting under a Conditional Fee Arrangement (CFA). Ouch!

M’learned friends speculate that Mitchell and his solicitors could end up falling out and suing each other. If the judgement tomorrow goes against Mitchell, his solicitors are likely to appeal meaning the underlying case will be delayed for months.

With the delay Mitchell’s hopes of returning to government in the next reshuffle will come to naught while the case is ongoing…

UPDATE: Mitchell’s lawyers Atkins Thomson, who screwed up the costs claim, have got in touch to say they and Sherborne share the risk of their own costs if Mitchell’s case fails. They also point out the obvious fact that The Sun’s costs are only payable if they lose and they are insured – though m’learned friends tell me the insurance probably won’t cover the whole amount. They also say they won’t fall out with their client…


  1. 1
    Newsshite says:

    When is Mitchell getting his job back?

  2. 2
    The Fifty Seventh Earl of Perineum says:

    Solicitors are not famed for suing solicitors.

  3. 3
    Andrew Efiong says:

    Stitched up by bent coppers and now filleted by bungling lawyers, Andrew Mitchell should be made Home Secretary immediately to enact glorious revenge!

  4. 4
    V1le Labour trashed my Country says:

    The BBC must be privatised now. There is enough evidence to prove they are trying to manipulate the political process.

  5. 5

    So who does sue solicitors?

  6. 6
    Jabba Le Chat says:

    Looks like fate intervened and the self opinionated little prick Mitchell still gets to grip the far end of the barge pole, oh happy day!

  7. 7
    Sue Solicitor says:

    Why are you asking me?

  8. 8
    Theresa May says:

    He needs to appoint a Private Investigator to get to the bottom of all this.

  9. 9
    The BBC says:

    Don’t forget, because half of Britain’s trade is with the EU, if we left everyone would die a slow and painful death, alone, in the dark, cold and hungry.

    Coming up, a report about man-made global warming and the wonderfulness of windmills. But before that, here’s another item on how multiculturalism is enriching our communities.

  10. 10
    magic_otter says:

    Half a million pounds to try and recover damages of at most £150,000, when he is a politician anyway? If Mitchell does make a comeback, lets hope its not in a department where he is trusted with any money.

  11. 11
    The Fifty Seventh Earl of Perineum says:

    ‘Spose you would have to marry one to find that out. :-D

  12. 12
    McBust says:

    Blame Sue!

  13. 13
    The Laughing Policeman. says:

    You have to laugh – when utter twats fall out!

  14. 14
    Anonymous says:

    would Carter-Ruck?

  15. 15
    Anonymous says:

    Idiots. Anyone that chooses to use a solicitor is by definition mentally incapacitated.

  16. 16
    The Fifty Seventh Earl of Perineum says:

    The Law Offices of Lawless & Lawless are located in San Francisco, California.

  17. 17
    Dr Cable says:

    I bet his blood pressure is sky high.

  18. 18
    Aristander of Telmissus says:

    Yebbut, whatever you may think of him, why is his solicitors’ professional cock-up any fault of the client? If – in a failure of ‘self-preservation – they have failed to file their expenses in time, they’re surely going to have to wear them. They are ‘officers of the court’ (as is Sherborne), dealing with the court, and the professional relationships are not the direct concern of the client. He cannot reasonably be expected to know the timetable.

  19. 19
    Anonymous says:

    She will make sure we need licenses for thinking next.

    Just because the judicial system is broken does not give her the right to interfere with every type of employment. I am surprised journalist are not licensed already. What about window cleaners. Surely they can spy on people and endanger lives more.

    We do not even license cleaners? They must need monitoring. These people are in our homes and offices and no one really knows who they are.

    Move quickly now or you might overlook some other honest people.

  20. 20
    The increasing costs of coffee, chocolate, tantalum and other key commodities says:

    Probably best Andrew does not return to cabinet.

    Probably a good idea for a good hard look at what exactly the Department for International Development budget gets spent on.

  21. 21
    No News in the World says:

    You win one, you lose one.
    Times change and the sun comes out.

  22. 22
  23. 23
    Observer says:

    David Sherborne looks like a cross between ‘Alan Partridge’ and Hugh Grant.

  24. 24
    Diane Abbotapotumus says:

    I take it I will be exempt?

  25. 25
    Yossarian says:

    Oh boo hoo – it really couldn’t happen to a nicer individual. Front bench? After this I feel a park bench is calling!

  26. 26
    Old Blind Pugh says:

    ” If the judgement tomorrow goes against Mitchell, his solicitors are likely to appeal meaning the underlying case will be delayed for months.” and so will the costs rack up accordingly

  27. 27
    didn't he fight for Hacked Off? says:

    and isn’t barrister David Sherborne one of the ‘Leveson lovers’?

  28. 28
    Old Blind Pugh says:

    So what did Mitchell say to the constable in Downing Street, Mitchell has never stated in public what he did say

  29. 29
    Old Blind Pugh says:

    You mean of course

  30. 30
    Our new motto is: says:

    Veracity, tenacity and r8pacity

  31. 31
    Or if you prefer, our new motto is: says:

    Voracious, tenacious and rrap*cious

  32. 32
    Patient one says:

    We seem to be still awaiting the report from hotshot hoganhyphenhowsaboutthat then.

  33. 33
    Weygand says:

    Were it to be the case that the cock up was that of his legal team – as the report above would seem to suggest – I can’t see how Mitchell personally would ultimately be liable for its consequences.

  34. 34
    Idon'tneednodoctor says:

    Tough shit Mitchell’s solicitors.
    When is Hogan-Howe going to get his plod finger out. How can it take so long? It appears to be deliberate time wasting.

  35. 35
    Idon'tneednodoctor says:

    You must fall out a lot.

  36. 36
    plus ca small change says:

    the only positive is to see someone else loused up by lawyers’ antics

    eed them to the christians!

  37. 37
    broderick crawford says:

    are you sure the BBC should be privatised now . ?/

    If so be prepared to be magicked onto the Jeremy Paxman show in a Michael Howard disguise and to have to justify refusing to answer the same question which will be put to you by the great man himself some one hundred and 13 times.

  38. 38
    broderick crawford says:

    … and grabbitt …… and runne.

  39. 39
    broderick crawford says:

    whereas the lawLESS offices of lawless and lawless are located behind a privvy in Jockeys fields WC1.

  40. 40
    broderick crawford says:

    he called him a “celeb “

  41. 41
    broderick crawford says:

    Sham Shpade at yer shervice dude !

  42. 42
    broderick crawford says:

    yah don’t know much abahht the legal bruvverhood then do yah sunshine …

  43. 43
    Wanda Ringhands says:

    If he loses the case we might as well pack up and go home

  44. 44
    Just asking says:

    Are you sure privatising the BBC is the answer? Shouldn’t we be campaigning for it to be closed down?

  45. 45
    Anonymous says:

    Why should he?

  46. 46
    Observer says:

    Yes, it’s a small village.

  47. 47
    Vlad the Loudhailer says:

    Isn’t pain and fear what most lawyers inflict on society all the time.

  48. 48
    Vlad the Loudhailer says:

    Santorini calling, Santorini calling

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