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News: Supreme Court gives permission to appeal in Mirror phone hacking costs case

510-supreme-court-1On 26 October 2016, the Supreme Court (Lords Mance, Reed and Toulson) gave Mirror Group Newspapers permission to appeal against a decision of Mann J on costs and CFAs.

This is a “leapfrog” appeal against the decision in the case of 8 Representative Claimants v MGN Ltd ([2016] EWHC 855 (Ch)). The judge rejected MGN’s arguments that success fees and the ATE insurance premium claimed by the phone hacking claimants were contrary to its rights under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The Supreme Court directed that the MGN appeal be heard with the appeal in Times Newspapers Limited v Flood.  As we reported last month, this appeal is listed for hearing on 24, 25 and 26 January 2017.

In that appeal the Times contends that the costs order is an unjustified interference with its Article 10 and Article 6 rights.  It seeks a declaration that the success fees and ATE insurance premium claimed by Mr Flood are irrecoverable on the grounds that they are an unjustified interference with its Article 10 rights. Permission to appeal [pdf] was granted on 3 May 2016.

On 2 August 2016, the Supreme Court gave the Daily Mail permission to bring a “leapfrog” appeal [pdf] from the decision of Mitting J on 5 February 2016 ([2016] EWHC 397 (QB)) who rejected its arguments based on Article 10.  This appeal will also be heard at the same time as the Flood case.

The three appeals – in two libel privacy cases and one dealing with phone hacking – will give the Supreme Court an opportunity to reconsider the decision of the House of Lords in Campbell v MGN Ltd (No.2) ([2005] 1 WLR 3394) in the light of the decision of the Court of Human Rights in MGN v United Kingdom ([2011] ECHR 66).  

The three newspaper group appellants will seek to persuade the Supreme Court to bring an end to recoverable success fees and  ATE insurance premiums in “publication cases”.

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