Wagatha Christie Legal Costs: Vardy’s Team Accused of “Unreasonable” Costs

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Rebekah Vardy’s legal team has been accused of racking up a disproportionate and unreasonable legal bill of £325,000. The bill came following Ms Vardy, who is married to footballer Jamie Vardy, having lost her high profile libel case against Coleen Rooney, the wife of Wayne Rooney, in July 2022.

As part of the case, Rebekah Vardy, was ordered to pay 90% of Ms Rooney’s costs, with an initial sum of £800,000.

Rooney was ordered to pay 20% of Ms Vardy’s costs and has returned to Court to challenge the £325,000 bill.

Vardy v Rooney: Facts of the case


The libel case between Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy, often dubbed “Wagatha Christie” by the media, was a high-profile legal battle that unfolded in the UK.

In October 2019, Coleen Rooney posted on social media accusing Mrs Vardy of leaking stories about her to The Sun newspaper. Rooney claimed that she had conducted a “sting operation” by posting fake stories to a select group of followers on her private Instagram account and concluded that the leaks were coming from Vardy’s account.

In response to Rooney’s accusations, Rebekah Vardy filed a libel lawsuit against Coleen Rooney, asserting that Rooney’s public accusations were false and defamatory, severely damaging her reputation.

The trial took place in May 2022 at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. The case attracted significant media attention due to the celebrity status of the individuals involved and the dramatic nature of the allegations.

During the trial, both parties presented extensive evidence, including WhatsApp messages, social media posts, and testimonies. Rebekah Vardy denied the allegations, stating that multiple people, including her agent Caroline Watt, had access to her Instagram account.

Coleen Rooney’s defence was built around the argument that her social media post was a matter of public interest and was true.

In July 2022, the court ruled in favour of Coleen Rooney. High Court Judge, Justice Steyn, found that Vardy and her agent were indeed involved in leaking stories to the press, and Rooney’s accusation was substantially true. The judge stated that Vardy had known and condoned Ms Watt’s actions and that her evidence was “manifestly inconsistent” and “not credible.”

Wagatha Christie Legal Costs: “Unreasonable Costs” 


Nearly two years after the original trial, the case has returned to court as Rooney challenges certain aspects of Vardy’s £325,000 bill, of which Rooney is responsible for paying 20 percent.

Vardy was left with a huge legal bill and a damaged reputation when a High Court judge dismissed her evidence as “evasive or implausible” and highlighted that she deliberately deleted or destroyed evidence on the form of WhatsApp messages. Rooney’s legal costs will be reviewed in a hearing in October.

Robin Dunne, representing Rooney, argued that Vardy’s legal team racked up “unreasonable and disproportionate” costs before the trial. These costs included attempts in February 2022 to obtain additional documents and information from both parties, as well as Rooney’s attempt to include legal action against Vardy’s former agent in the libel case.

Rooney’s lawyers have previously claimed that Vardy leaked information to The Sun, either directly or through her agent Caroline Watt. This bid was denied, and Rooney had to pay Watt’s £65,000 legal bill.

Dunne acknowledged the necessity of some of the work, but argued that Vardy’s bill for about eight weeks of work was excessive. Vardy’s lawyers are contesting the attempt to reduce the costs. Jamie Carpenter KC, representing Vardy, insisted that her lawyers were consistently working during that period, including on Christmas Day and other holidays.

The costs court in London heard that Vardy’s trial barrister, Hugh Tomlinson KC, even worked on the case during his Christmas holiday. Carpenter emphasised that the work was essential and substantial.

The hearing before Senior Costs Judge Andrew Gordon-Saker is expected to conclude on Wednesday.

How can ARC Costs assist?


The “Wagatha Christie” legal costs battle highlights the importance of ensuring costs listed within a bill of costs are reasonable and proportionate. For those seeking to contest and unreasonable bill of costs, our team can assist. 

ARC Costs are an experienced and independent team of specialised Costs Draftsmen and Costs Lawyers. We assist both paying and receiving parties in resolving costs disputes, and are adept at preparing Costs Budgets and Bill of Costs for receiving parties, as well as providing legal costs negotiations services and preparing Points of Reply. For paying parties, we are adept at preparing Points of Dispute, and ensuring that a proportionate level of costs is recovered. Proportionality is a subjective issue, and it is therefore important you have the right legal costs representative on your side during detailed assessment to ensure you make the most persuasive submissions on the issue.  Should you require any assistance or free initial advice, please call us on 01204 397302, or email one of our costs experts direct on info@arccosts.co.uk.


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