Peter McCormack has paid Dr. Craig Wright his £18,500 in costs associated with a failed attempt to delay disclosure in the libel suit against him until after November.
On July 30, 2020, McCormack was ordered to pay Wright’s costs associated with a last-ditch effort to push back discovery until after a late attempt to get the suit dismissed is heard beginning November 23. The English High Court took a dim view of the request given that the lawsuit was filed back in April of 2019 and to delay discovery until after McCormack’s late strike-out application would mean that discovery and the rest of the pre-trial timetable would run needlessly close to—and go beyond—the May 4, 2021 trial start date. The Court rejected the attempt and ordered McCormack to pay Wright costs of the 30 July hearing.
The costs—amounting to £18,500—were to be paid by 4.30 p.m. on Friday August 21. McCormack waited until Friday night to pay up but did eventually pay the full amount, CoinGeek has learned.
McCormack had almost a month to pay, so just what caused such a delay in payment is unclear. It seemed inevitable that the Court would shoot down the delay attempt given how late the strike-out application came, and that there was a very real risk that his side would have to foot the bill for Wright’s costs if the Court rejected it, so it shouldn’t have come as too much of a surprise to McCormack and his funders.
Speaking of McCormack’s funders, the delay makes less sense considering that McCormack’s defense in the case is apparently being financially supported by Tether, who presumably were the ones who paid Wright’s costs on Friday.
Litigation can be drawn-out and expensive, but we are committed to the long game. We admire Peter’s conviction and are humbled to support his defence against what we see as frivolous and vexatious litigation. 3/3
— Stuart Hoegner (@bitcoinlawyer) November 8, 2019
The costs will be a hard pill to swallow for McCormack and Tether: if the failure of this latest hail-mary attempt to avoid facing Wright in Court is anything to go by, the £18,500 could end up being the first of many Craig Wright legal bills being picked up by McCormack and his funders.
The next stage in the libel suit is discovery, which is set to kick off in September despite McCormack’s best efforts. This will be an important phase, and should shed some light on just why McCormack suddenly wants to avoid having to stand by his many attacks on Wright. The strike-out application is then set to be heard on November 23, with the trial beginning on May 4, 2021.
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