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Leap Frog Appeal

October 29, 2016

Mr Justice Mann in the matter of England and Wales High Court (Chancery Division) Decisions 8 Representative Claimants & Ors v MGN Ltd [2016] EWHC 855 (Ch) (19 April 2016)  had  rejected the Defendant’s arguments and concluded that English legislature is not incompatible with Article 10 of the ECHR. The Defendant was unable to rely upon that argument to prevent the recovery of success fees under his Judgment of 21st May 2015.

He observed that the Supreme Court was to consider a similar point in a Defamation case and, in the Miller case a certificate had been granted for a leapfrog appeal. He considered in view of this it would be appropriate to grant such a certificate on or after he had handed down his judgment.

On 26th October 2016, Lords Mance, Reed and Toulson in the Supreme Court granted the Defendant permission to appeal against Mr Justice Mann’s decision dismissing their contention that success fees and ATE insurance claimed by the Claimants were contrary to its rights under Article 10 of the ECHR.

The Supreme Court gave a direction that this Appeal should be heard alongside the Appeal in Times Newspapers v Flood which is listed for 24th, 25th and 26th January 2017. In that Appeal a declaration is sought that the success fees and ATE insurance premium claimed by Mr Flood are not recoverable being an interference with its Article 10 rights.

Another leapfrog appeal will be heard at the same time.  The Supreme Court granted the Daily Mail permission to bring the appeal on a decision made by Mr Justice Mitting on 5th February 2016 when he dismissed their argument under Article 10.

The three Appeals involve two libel privacy matters and phone hacking.  The Appeals have provided the three newspaper groups the opportunity to convince the Supreme Court to end recoverable success fees together with ATE premiums in such cases.