25th October 2022

The Greg Hughes show kicked off to a lively start this morning with a debate on the Judgement delivered midweek by Judge Steyn in the High Court in London on the question of the legal costs that followed the dismissal of Rebekah Vardy’s Defamation case against Coleen Rooney, when she ordered the former to pay costs estimated at £1.5 million to Mrs. Rooney with the first tranche to be paid by 4 pm on the 15th of November next. Seamus Gunn was of the opinion that there may yet be a pay day for each of the parties in the action due to the interest the case generated on the world stage, saying that it was likely that documentaries and TV shows would follow which would go a long way towards discharging the fees involved in the case. He thought that it beggared belief how Mrs. Rooney’s private life as reported in the Sun Newspaper, featuring traveling to Mexico for gender selection, a return to TV and her basement flooding would give rise to a Court case which could ultimately cost in or around £ 3 million, taking into account each party’s legal fees. He explained that Mrs. Rooney would have already expended a considerable sum pre-trial and that these fees may not be recoverable.

Our contributor thought that Mrs. Vardy may have been considering an appeal after the initial Judgement dismissing her case but that she had major hurdles to overcome which were described as “unfortunate incidents” in the Trial which included a mobile phone being dropped into the sea, forgotten passwords and a broken laptop. He thought that without recovery of this data an appeal may only double the exposure without a return for Mrs. Vardy. He said the Judge’s summing up of the witnesses describing Mrs. Rooney as honest and reliable in comparison to Mrs. Vardy being manifestly inconsistent.. evasive or implausible were significant credibility issues.

Greg Hughes enquired as to whether there was any mechanism in place to safeguard against one taking an action such as Defamation without having the funds to back it. Our Contributor explained the circumstances which may lead to an application to the Court at the early stages of Proceedings seeking security for costs from a party to which this may apply, where they would have to put up a sum in advance of the matter going to Court to cover costs in the event of being unsuccessful. Seamus Gunn thought that the interest going forward shall be how the story plays out in the various different media channels and platforms.

There was also a mention of the class action being brought by some of the entertainment artists against the Daily Mail to restrict the reporting of the kind of gossip that led to the “Wagatha Christie” Trial. Our contributor was of the view that while this may reduce the actual costs per capita pursuing such a claim, that the Daily Mail had such a vested interest in it that they were likely to fully defend their position, a case for the future no doubt.

Various topics were touched on in the interesting Q&A that followed. You can listen to these and the full interview below.