Naomi Campbell costs ruling

Mirror's challenge to CFAs is dismissed by the Lords

The House of Lords has today unanimously dismissed the Article 10-based challenge to the validity of CFAs in media cases brought by the Daily Mirror.


Giving the lead judgment, Lord Hoffmann held that it was a matter for Parliament to strike the balance between access to justice under Article 6 and freedom of expression under Article 10. There was not a disproportionate interference with the media’s Article 10 rights to be made the subjects of a regime which required losing defendants to pay success fees of up to 100% in order to fund a system that afforded access to justice to other litigants.


“The scheme under which such liability is imposed was a choice open to the legislature,” he said.


However, Lord Hoffmann went on to observe that CFAs presented particular problems in defamation cases. He referred to the “blackmail effect” exemplified by the Turcu case and backed the Court of Appeal’s encouragement in Musa King of greater use of cost-capping orders.


5RB‘s James Price QC (instructed by Schillings) appeared for Naomi Campbell.


Click here for the full 5RB case report and judgment.