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naomi libel decision is no basis for demise of CFA’s

21 January 2011

The decision by the European Court of Human Rights in MGN v UK should not be seen as an excuse for the government to abolish the current system of conditional fee agreements.

The system was introduced to ensure that ordinary UK citizens would in the absence of being able to obtain public assistance still be able to take proceedings to defend their position in a whole range of areas

In this instance Miss Campbell is no ordinary UK citizen but a millionaire with the ability to pay her lawyers.

The system was never designed to be abused by the super-rich in libel and defamation cases and so the decision of the ECHR on the facts of this case is absolutely right.

The legal profession needs to take a reasonable and sensible approach to how we approach these arrangements and if we don’t do so soon this essential aid ensuring that all have at least the opportunity to defend their position will be gone forever!

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Declan Cushley

Declan Cushley

Partner and Head of IP and Commercial Group

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