Musa King victory boosts no-win, no-fee system

Adam Musa King, creator of internet news site Mathaba.Net and founder of Green Charter International, made a point of praising the legal no-win, nofee system when he won substantial damages and an apology from The Sunday Telegraph this week.

In an earlier Court of Appeal hearing, the judge, Lord Justice Brooke, had spoken of the obvious unfairness of the system, where lawyers are allowed to rack up “extravagant” fees, and ruled there should be a cap on costs.

But Musa King had nothing but praise for the system, declaring: “I am grateful to my solicitors, Carter-Ruck, and counsel, Richard Rampton QC and Harvey Starte, for representing me under Conditional Fee Agreements.”

And Barton Taylor, a partner at Carter- Ruck, said: “The settlement is a considerable success for Mr King and for Carter-Ruck’s CFA scheme.”

This week’s settlement related to two articles published in the paper in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks in the US. In a statement read at the High Court, the Telegraph Group accepted that there was no truth in suggestions they had published that King was suspected of being an accomplice of Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network and a supporter of al Qaeda.

The Telegraph acknowledged that terrorism of any kind has always been abhorrent to King and that he has never advocated or supported violence to affect political change, or at all. It agreed to pay King’s “reasonable’ legal costs.

Taylor said: “This is a case which the Telegraph argued should be struck out as having no chance of success and, when this failed, tried to have the action stopped unless my firm and counsel stopped acting for Mr King under CFAs or Mr King took out insurance that he could not afford.

“It then abandoned these arguments, lost earlier this month in the Court of Appeal before finally, and not before time, capitulating in the face of the trial, due to start on 8 June.”

By Jean Morgan

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