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Mitchell madness on the march again

Former Tory Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell MP’s foray into the hard fought privacy litigation known as “Plebgate” produced the most important costs case reported in 2013 (see Mitchell v News Group Newspapers). His libel action had turned on what he had (or had not) said to a police officer at the entrance to Downing Street when attempting to depart through the gates on his bicycle without dismounting. The case failed at trial before Mitting J, so the issue which had intrigued costs gurus became academic: had he won, Mr Mitchell’s budgeted costs would have been limited to applicable court fees, owing to his solicitor’s failure to serve a costs budget within the time limit set out in CPR 3.13. As he lost, that did not happen.

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