Some mild relief in the Yentob household in the form of an Appeal Court judgement yesterday. Alan was awarded £85,000 in damages from Mirror Group Newspapers for phone-hacking back in June. Before the case, MGN had offered more (we don't know how much more) to settle out of court, and often, when that happens, the claimant has to cover both parties costs - as encouragement to others to make deals and not take up the courts' time.
But at the end of the June hearing, the judge ruled that though the damages were less than the MGN offer, the newspaper only admitted hacking Mr Yentob's voicemail for half the period of hacking for which he (the judge) had found hacking had taken place. Mr Yentob was entitled to argue that he could properly proceed to trial in those circumstances, and thus shouldn't have to contribute to MGN's legal fees. Yesterday, the Appeal Court rejected a MGN move to overturn that ruling, adding that even if there had been a deal, there was little chance of the newspaper making a full and frank admission of wrongdoing.
So no extra dosh required for the lawyer's fees - but, financially, was the pursuit of the Mirror worth it ? £85,000 must have been seriously eaten away by Al's own legal team; who covered the risk ?