Case details

Frost and others (Respondents) v MGN Limited (Appellant)

Case ID: UKSC 2016/0106

Case summary

  • Whether the recoverability of additional liabilities (CFA success fees and ATE premiums) is incompatible with the appellant's rights under Article 10 ECHR; and
  • Whether the appellant should be precluded from arguing that the recovery of success fees is incompatible with Article 10 in the set of representative claims.

This is an application for a 'leapfrog' appeal from the order of Mr Justice Mann in the High Court, declaring that recovery by the respondents of 'additional liabilities' (success fees and ATE premiums) was not incompatible with the appellant's rights under Article 10 ECHR. The respondents are those claimants who have settled and those chosen as 'representative' in 'Wave 1' of the Mirror Newspapers Hacking Litigation. The claims of the Representative Claimants were treated as test cases and judgment was handed down in their favour with an award of damages by Mann J on 21 May 2015, subsequently upheld by the Court of Appeal on 17 December 2015.

The appellant has also been ordered to pay the respondents' costs, which are in the process of being assessed. The respondents had instructed lawyers under conditional fee agreements (CFAs) and most had also taken out 'after the event' insurance (ATE). Under the applicable framework they are in principle entitled to recover 'additional liabilities' (success fees under the CFAs and the ATE premiums). The respondents made an application to the High Court, granted by Mann J, for a declaration that the framework which permits the respondents to recover these additional liabilities is not incompatible with Article 10 ECHR. Since Mann J felt clearly bound by a House of Lords decision the appellant seeks a 'leapfrog' appeal direct to the Supreme Court.

Judgment appealed

[2016] EWHC 855 (Ch)



MGN Limited


Sadie Frost and others



Lord Neuberger, Lord Mance, Lord Sumption, Lord Hughes, Lord Hodge

Hearing start date

24 Jan 2017

Hearing finish date

26 Jan 2017

Watch hearing
24 Jan 2017 Morning session Afternoon session
25 Jan 2017 Morning session Afternoon session
26 Jan 2017 Morning session Afternoon session