Supplementary memorandum submitted by Mark Thompson of Carter-Ruck solicitors
I have received a copy of the letter from Marcus Partington dated 25th February 2009, the contents of which are somewhat surprising.
Point 4 of the Agenda, and nearly all of the oral submissions from the media lawyers, focused on costs under Conditional Feee Agreement ('CFA') cases.
Specifically, in answer to a question about the figure for costs in a CFA case (in terms of the base costs, success fee and ATE insurance), I pointed out, correctly, that my firm's CFA base rate is £400 per hour (which is, as Mr Partington knows well, a discounted rate). I also explained that the success fee and ATE insurance costs are staged, in the sense that they are triggered and then increase during the course of litigation in the event that it is not settled early, as the majority of cases are. This can be confirmed by the transcript of the evidence given yesterday.
Furthermore, the Tesco and Sienna Miller cases referred to were not CFA cases, as Mr Partington is well aware.
Mr Partington's letter is therefore misconceived. However, it does illustrate the very point that I highlighted to the Committee that the media are not checking their facts first before publishing serious allegations.
26 February 2009