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Hefty Costs Award in Wagatha Christie

Following judgment of the Wagatha Christie saga, whereby Justice Steyn of the High Court ruled in favour of Coleen Rooney earlier this year, a costs order has now been made.

Back in June 2020, Rebekah Vardy issued a defamation case against Coleen Rooney on the grounds that her accusations of Vardy leaking stories to the press were untrue. Our report on this story can be found here. At trial, it was held that Rooney’s social media posts were substantially true to say Vardy was responsible for leaking Rooney’s private information to The Sun Newspaper, and therefore Vardy had lost her case.

Recently, Justice Steyn has issued a costs order against Vardy and ordered her to pay 90% of Rooney’s legal costs, which amounts to a staggering £1.5 million in total for the case. In her conclusion, Justice Steyn took into account that Vardy and her former agent had deliberately deleted or destroyed evidence which resulted in costs being awarded on an indemnity basis.

The order states that £800,000 of those costs must be paid by 15 November 2022. Rooney actually incurred legal costs of more than £2 million, but a sum of £350,000 was raised before the trial so those were removed from the figure presented to Court.

Justice Steyn ruled in the middle of the parties requests, as Rooney argued for 100% payment of her costs while Vardy proposed 80%. Unfortunately, for Vardy, because she issued proceedings and ultimately lost, she will have to pay Rooney’s costs as well as her own.

This is an unusual costs award In the High Court, as orders are usually in the region on 60-70%. It seems on this occasion the Court has chosen to make an example in such a high profile case.

If this story has raised any questions for you please do not hesitate to contact the team at McDaniels Law on 0191 281 4000 or by email at legal@mcdanielslaw.com .

in: Case Law, Civil Procedure, Legal News, News

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