An interesting story into today’s Times (£) deepening the row about George Galloway’s solicitors. They are reported to have threatened RTers of an allegedly libellous tweet about Mr Galloway with £5,000 + VAT for costs. Carter Ruck are instructed by Chambers’. The firm is claiming its fees were based on a £500 an hour charge out rate and (a little less clearly) that Galloway agreed to pay that rate under “usual solicitor/client fee arrangements”. They also say they did more than the £5,000 per letter work on an urgent and out of hours basis.
Interestingly, the solicitor for Chambers, confirms that the letters before action that are the source of the controversy were “seen and approved” by Mr Galloway. This suggests Mr Galloway gave his permission for this information to be disclosed, as it would otherwise be privileged.
One wonders where this waiver of privilege will lead. Mr Lewis, solicitors for one of the tweeters, has reported Chambers to the police and to the SRA. We can expect more fireworks.