Tuesday 18 January 2011

Mirror wins Naomi Campbell fee case in Europe

This will add to the pressure for libel law reform and changes to the much hated, by the media, Conditional Fee Arrangements.

AS BBC News reports, the European Court of Human Rights has found the Mirror's right to freedom of expression was violated by the "success fee" it had to pay when it lost a privacy case brought by Naomi Campbell,

In 2004, the Law Lords found the paper had breached the supermodel's privacy in an article about her drug addiction. The ECHR ruled today that the £1m costs the paper had to pay, which were partly lawyers' "success fees", were disproportionate.

The Mirror will now have to discuss compensation with the government.

A Mirror spokesman said: "The whole system of CFAs with success fees has been found by the court to be flawed. This judgment should increase pressure on the Coalition Government to abolish the recovery of such fees from defendants and we look forward to that happening in the near future."

  • Sir Charles Gray, the barrister and former High Court Judge, said at last week's libel law reform debate in London he was told a newspaper was being sued by a footballer who had retained three silks on CFAs and the legal bill was running at £100,000 a week.
  • Speaking in the same debate, Razi Mireskandari, of Simons Muirhead & Burton, suggested the success fees for CFAs should be cut from 100% to 25 % and that should be recovered from damages.

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