Judge slams Wembley dispute’s £22m costs total

A judge has hit out at the participants in a four-year dispute over the construction of Wembley Stadium after they racked up £22m in costs.


Judge slams Wembley dispute’s £22m costs totalA judge has hit out at the participants involved in a four-year dispute over the construction of Wembley Stadium after they racked up £22m in costs, including £1m on photocopying.

Australian construction company Multiplex was awarded £6.2m in damages from steel firm Cleveland Bridge following a contractual dispute over delays in the stadium’s construction.

Mr Justice Jackson said: “That level of expenditure far exceeds the sums which are seriously in dispute. Each party has thrown away ­golden opportunities to ­settle this litigation upon favourable terms.”

The lawyers on the case shared a total legal bill of £20m. Clifford Chance and Four New Square silk Roger Stewart QC are understood to have shared more than £12m in legal costs during the ;four ;years ;they ­represented Multiplex.

Reid ;Minty, ;which has ;now ;merged ;with ­McGrigors, was brought in by Cleveland for the final two years of ­litigation and, along with Adrian Williamson
QC of Keating Chambers, notched up £6.5m in fees.

Walker Morris and Hugh Tomlinson QC of Matrix Chambers, sidelined by Cleveland after losing a preliminary round in 2006, are thought to have billed £2m.

That said, Jackson J praised legal counsel for working “prodigiously hard” to end the dispute.

Multiplex was awarded 20 per cent of its costs for the final stage of the case, an outcome that is likely to leave both sides unsatisfied.

A source close to the ­matter said: “It could all kick off again. I suspect Cleveland is going to appeal.”