A trial was due to take place in January 2021 of a selection of phone hacking cases against MGN Limited. Hamlins LLP represented 9 of those claimants. All of those cases were settled shortly before witness statements were due to be exchanged in November 2020.
One of the clients we represented is the actress, Roxanne Pallett. In November 2020, MGN Limited accepted a settlement proposal made by the Claimant but then applied to the Court for an order that a substantial proportion of the Claimant’s legal costs be disallowed on the basis that the Claimant should have engaged in settlement negotiations at an earlier stage in the proceedings.
In a significant judgment (following a 2-day hearing in December) handed by the Managing Judge today, MGN’s application was rejected, with the Claimant’s approach vindicated, and MGN has been ordered to pay the Claimant’s costs of the claim and the hearing. The judgment emphasises that in this case it was “entirely reasonable” for the Claimant to await for further disclosure before engaging in settlement discussions. In particular, the Judge accepted that the disclosure “enabled the Claimant to raise the negotiating stakes by over 50% of the previous offer”.
The full judgment is available here.