M Law sues client over unpaid Jacko case fees

Media boutique M Law has launched a claim against former client Matthew ­Fiddes over unpaid fees worth £1.3m.

The firm became involved in a high-profile libel dispute brought by Fiddes against Channel 4 (C4) last year.

Partner Chris Hutchings was instructed to act for Fiddes, who alleged that the broadcaster had libelled him during the airing of a documentary about the family of the late popstar Michael Jackson.

Hutchings accepted the case on a conditional fee basis, meaning that M Law funded the claim until the trial was over.

At an initial court hearing at the beginning of June Mr Justice Tugendhat ruled that the case should be heard by the judge alone to prevent costs from spiralling further out of control. At that point Fiddes had built up fees of £1.3m compared with C4’s £1.7m.

M Law appealed the ruling and the Master of the Rolls Lord Neuberger was drafted in to hear the case at the Court of Appeal. The decision was upheld and the case was settled.

However, Fiddes is yet to settle his legal bills and the firm is set to pursue him through the courts.