Hello! to face £4m legal bill for Douglases’ privacy case

Addleshaw Goddard has charged the Douglases’ and OK! Magazine £2m for acting in their confidentiality case against Hello!, a costs judgment expected in the next fortnight will reveal.

Hello! was granted leave to appeal last Wednesday (14 January) against April’s High Court ruling that pictures of the Douglases’ 2000 wedding that the magazine ran to spoil an OK! exclusive was a breach of confidence, as revealed exclusively on www.the lawyer.com (15 January).

Mr Justice Lindsay deferred his judgment on the costs of the High Court action in last week’s hearing, but lawyers working on the case are expecting the final numbers to be revealed in open court in the next two weeks.

Sources close to the case have confirmed that Addleshaws has clocked up a bill of £2m for acting for OK! and the Douglases, but this figure does include payments to barristers.

Hello!’s lawyer Chris Hutchings, who left Charles Russell last autumn to set up his own firm, M-Law, is understood to have billed his client £1m, with around 30 per cent of the bill going to counsel.

Hello! now faces a £4m bill, including the £1m damages that Judge Lindsay ordered it to pay to OK! in the summer, which it will have to pay along with the costs of its appeal, if the appeal is unsuccessful.

Addleshaws and Hutchings declined to comment.