Claimant media lawyers round on Govt’s 10 per cent CFA cap

More than 10 firms, including Collyer Bristow and Russell Jones & Walker (RJW), have come together to establish the ‘Lawyers for Media Standards’ (LMS) group.

Its mission, said RJW head of media, libel and ­privacy Sarah Webb, was to add balance to the ongoing debate on legal costs in defamation cases.

“[Defendant] media lawyers acting as a group have had much greater access to Jack Straw than we have,” said Webb. “There’s clearly an advantage to having a ­cohesive approach.”

The claimant group has raised concerns that the working party created by Straw to examine the ­proposals is dominated by defendant newspaper editors and lawyers. This includes director of ­editorial legal services at The Guardian Gill Phillips and The Sunday Times ­editor John Witherow.

Of the 17-strong group only two are believed to be practising claimant lawyers – Schillings partner Rod Christie-Miller and Carter Ruck partner Andrew Stephensen.

Collyer Bristow head of reputation manage-ment Steve Heffer said the Government ­proposals appeared to be “one-sided”.