One Brick Court faces Ugly dispute

One Brick Court and Russell Jones & Walker have been instructed by 9-12 Bell Yard barrister Constance Briscoe in her defence against libel allegations brought by her mother.

Briscoe’s mother Carmen Briscoe-Mitchell has sued her daughter and publishers Hodder & Stoughton for libel over Briscoe’s 2006 memoirs of her childhood called Ugly.

Briscoe’s mother said the allegations in the autobiography are nothing but fiction, while Briscoe, a part-time judge, maintains her book is factually accurate.

In the book, Briscoe claims she was neglected by her mother as a child, had beaten her and called her a “swine”.

During the hearing, Briscoe-Mitchell rejected claims that she beat her daughter with a stick, called her ugly and a “dirty little whore” and hurt her by pinching her breasts.

She also told jurors that when her daughter visited London during her days at Newcastle University, she would “just run around doing shoplifting”.

Briscoe and Hodder are being advised by Russell Jones & Walker libel head Sarah Webb, who instructed Andrew Caldecott QC of One Brick Court as lead counsel.

Briscoe-Mitchell is being advised by South East London firm Samuel Ross Solicitors, which instructed William Panton of Mitre Chambers as lead counsel.