Supplementary memorandum submitted by Marcus Partington, Chair, Media Lawyers Association
I am writing to you, on behalf of the Media Lawyers Association (MLA), following yesterday's oral evidence session which I attended as a witness.
the second session
I should be grateful if you would distribute this letter to all of the members of the Committee.
The following are recent cases, involving Carter-Ruck and members of the MLA, where they have sought or mentioned that their firm's basic fees are in excess of £400 per hour.
They are as follows: -
1. Tesco Stores Limited -v- Guardian News and Media Limited and Alan Rusbridger
In this case, from last year, the Senior Partner of Carter-Ruck, Nigel Tait, is seeking recovery of a rate of £500 per hour.
2. Sienna Miller -v- Big Pictures and News Group Newspapers Limited
Carter-Ruck, in the shape of Mr Thomson himself, sought recovery of his fees from the defendants in December 2008 at an hourly rate of £450 per hour.
3. In a case involving a claim by a client of Carter-Ruck against MGN Limited, a subsidiary of Trinity Mirror Plc, Carter-Ruck said that prior to entering into the CFA their partner's time had been charged at a rate of £450 per hour. That was in the spring of 2008.
Of course, the rates which solicitors seek to charge and seek recovery of can vary - and it is clearly the case that in basic hourly rates terms Carter-Ruck are not the most expensive firm - but the MLA is very concerned that the Committee is not misled by Mr Thomson's answer into thinking that Carter-Ruck always charges a standard rate of £400 per hour, when the evidence clearly indicates otherwise.
25 February 2009