Red faces at Herbert Smith

Apparently email is 20 years old on 11 March.

While that might seem like a long time in the legal world, two decades is barely the blink of an eye, so perhaps you’d expect the process of e-discovery to have a few rough edges.

But Mr Justice Ramsey in the High Court has found that Herbert Smith’s client West African Gas Pipeline Company (WAPCo) went beyond the realms of patience when it up the e-disclosure process and ordered it to pay £135,000 in wasted costs (see story).

Things could have been worse, however: Pinsent Masons, which is advising WAPCo’s adversary in the case – Willbros Global Holdings – wanted £1.8m for the delays.

And Herbies can console itself with the fact that this wasn’t the most high-profile cock-up made by a law firm of late. That award goes to Schillings, which forgot about the court’s deadline to issue directions in footballer Ryan Giggs’ claim for damages against News Group Newspapers and had to apologise to the court.

Whoops.