Schillings fails to recover all costs in Sara Cox privacy suit

Schillings has accepted a fraction of the total costs it claimed for acting for DJ Sara Cox in a privacy claim against The Sunday People and Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN).

The firm settled its fight for costs for £100,000, just 37 per cent of the £273,000 it originally claimed.

The settlement comes shortly after a damning judgment on costs handed down by Mr Justice Eady, who ruled that name partner Keith Schilling was not entitled to costs of £450 an hour plus a 95 per cent success fee.

Eady J ordered that the claimants had to pay 75 per cent of MGN’s fees arising from the appeal hearing on costs, with £25,000 due by 16 June. Instead, the claimants chose to settle, accepting £100,000 from MGN which had been paid in August 2004 in respect of the original privacy judgment.

Olswang partner Geraldine Proudler, who represented MGN, said: “This matter shows what a charade costs recovery by claimants’ solicitors acting under a conditional fee agreement can be. It is clear that the court needs to step in and take bold decisions on costs and success fees to avoid injustice to paying parties.”