Taylor Wessing makes libel history with Charles Russell cost capping

Taylor Wessing made legal history by obtaining the first costs-capping order against an opposing firm’s fees in a libel dispute, winning a four-year battle for Associated Newspapers.

As a result of the order Charles Russell‘s fees were slashed from £1m to £445,000 plus VAT.

Charles Russell represented Alberta Matadeen in her claim against Associated Newspapers as the owner of a Birmingham nursing home that was the subject of a three-week investigation by the Evening Standard.

The resultant front-page story alleged that elderly residents of the Alexandra Nursing Home were being mistreated. Charles Russell media head Duncan Lamont filed the claim against Associated Newspapers in 2003.

But over the course of four years Taylor Wessing collected 20 witness statements and a lengthy expert report that backed up the newspaper’s story, prompting Matadeen to withdraw her claim.

Taylor Wessing partner Niri Shan said: “This is probably the biggest case we’ve had from Associated Newspapers and they’re over the moon with it. We’ve had a few new cases come in from them already.” Taylor Wessing put forward a six-lawyer team comprising partners Shan and Neil White, as well as associates Lorna Caddy, Simon Bourn, Holly Havers and David Allen Green.

The firm instructed Adrienne Page QC and Adam Speker of 5 Raymond Buildings. Charles Russell instructed Manuel Barca of One Brick Court.

Associated Newspapers has previously worked with both Reynolds Porter Chamberlain and Taylor Wessing.