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‘Wagatha Christie’ – up to £1.5 million in costs to be paid by Vardy to Rooney

12th Oct 2022 | Dispute Resolution
Rebecca Vardy article with quote from judge

Following the high-profile “Wagatha Christie” trial, which we covered here, the claimant Rebekah Vardy, has been ordered to pay Coleen Rooney’s costs on the higher “indemnity” basis.  

The Judge said:

“What takes this case out of the norm in a way which compels the conclusion that I should make an order for indemnity costs is that in my judgment following the trial I found that the Claimant - and also her former agent - had deliberately deleted or destroyed evidence.  

"Even if I were to disregard the actions of the Claimant’s former agent on the basis that it was not put to the Claimant that she procured the disposal of the phone and I made no such finding, the point remains that I found the Claimant deliberately deleted or destroyed evidence.

"Such behaviour is outside the ordinary and reasonable conduct of proceedings. In all the circumstances, I consider it appropriate to order the Claimant to pay costs on the indemnity basis.”

This means that Ms Vardy could pay costs of up to £1.5 million and has been ordered to pay £800,000 as an initial “interim” payment.  

Of course, Ms Vardy will have her own costs to pay too, and these are likely to be of a similar size to Ms Rooney’s costs.

Practical takeaway

All litigation carries risk.  But this case is a startling example of getting litigation wrong.  Ms Rooney had conducted a sting operation to find out who was leaking stories about her to journalists at the Sun. Having done so, she made the now much-publicised post “It’s ……….… Rebekah Vardy’s account” via social media.  

Ms Vardy chose to sue Ms Rooney to clear her name.  However, that decision has been a very public and very humiliating failure.  It has now also come at a cost to Ms Vardy of several million pounds.  

For more information on the issues in this article or on any other dispute query, please contact Ailsa Charlton on 0191 211 7735 or email [email protected]

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