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?


    • 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.


      • 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.


      • 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.


      • 44
        Just asking says:

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


    • 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


  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. 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!


  5. 8
    Theresa May says:

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


    • 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.


    • 41
      broderick crawford says:

      Sham Shpade at yer shervice dude !


  6. 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.


  7. 13
    The Laughing Policeman. says:

    You have to laugh – when utter twats fall out!


  8. 17
    Dr Cable says:

    I bet his blood pressure is sky high.


  9. 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.


  10. 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.


  11. 23
    Observer says:

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


  12. 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!


  13. 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.


  14. 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.


  15. 36
    plus ca small change says:

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

    eed them to the christians!


  16. 43
    Wanda Ringhands says:

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


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