Social worker Sylvia Henry won a libel action against The Sun, which made false allegations about her over the Baby P case, but she now faces the possibility of being almost £300,000 out of pocket.
That's the amount of shortfall in the legal costs she is able to claim from the paper's publisher, News Group Newspapers (NGN).Social workers, lawyers and newspapermen in ‘Can’t they all lose?’ drama!
Oh dear, so sad, too bad…
But why is she so out of pocket?
Following that hearing, the London legal firm that acted for Henry, Taylor Hampton, have been seeking costs from NGN. It exceeded the previous agreed amounts, it said, because of the way the defence was conducted.
Master Hurst said NGN has "mounted a vigorous and lengthy defence which was amended four times. They served 10 lists of documents.
"I do not suggest that the defendant was not entitled to act as it did, but it cannot now try to pass off this constantly changing scenario as being no more than a minor inconvenience to the claimant."
But the costs judge said that Henry's lawyers had "largely ignored the provisions of the practice direction" in relation to the budgeting of costs.
He suggested that Henry's lawyers should have raised the matter of the extra costs earlier in the litigation and he therefore ruled in NGN's favour.Hmmmm. Maybe she can find another set of lawyers to sue the first set for incompetence?