The libel case brought by Evening Standard journalist Mira Bar-Hillel
against lobbyist Maureen Tomison of Decision Makers (PR Week 24
February) rumbles on.
The action, you may remember, concerns comments made by Tomison when
giving evidence to the Nolan Committee with Dame Angela Rumbold - Tory
party vice-chairman and formerly a director of DM - about DM’s lobbying
campaign for Blue Circle over the Ebbsfleet Chunnel station.
DM’s work, and Rumbold’s part in it, were the subject of several
articles in the Evening Standard.
I hear Tomison has now dispensed with the services of libel lawyer
extraordinaire Andrew Stephenson, of Peter Carter-Ruck and Partners, and
is to defend herself against Bar-Hillel and the Evening Standard.
‘Unfortunately we can’t make any comment on the matter,’ says a
spokesman for DM. But Stephenson was a little more forthcoming.
‘It’s not a case of falling out in any shape or form nor have I enquired
into the finances of it,’ he tells me.
‘It is a question of looking at the cost-benefit analysis of continuing
to instruct us to deal with the case.’ Which, when you add in the cost
of hiring a barrister, could easily add up to pounds 50,000 for a two
However, says Stephenson, ‘Mrs Tomison remains a client’ and should she
require further advice ‘I would be happy to give it’.