A judge has ordered that Dr. Craig Wright pay Peter McCormack’s full legal costs relating to May’s defamation trial, according to a decision published today. Earlier costs orders, which have already seen McCormack pay Dr. Wright more than £100,000 ($121,245) with more to be determined, are unaffected.
The costs orders already made against McCormack relating to the abandonment and the subsequent resurrection of his defenses, as well as his failed attempt to delay disclosure, will stand, the Judge ruled. McCormack has already made interim payments of over £100,000 ($121,245) to Dr. Wright in respect of those, pending a complete assessment of costs after trial. McCormack estimates these to run up to nearly £1 million ($1.2 million).
The ruling comes after Justice Chamberlain found that Dr. Wright had successfully made out his case against McCormack for defamation. However, he also found that Dr. Wright had attempted to advance a ‘deliberately false’ case before trial and reduced Dr. Wright’s award to just £1. The judge had taken issue with an initial argument made by Dr. Wright—abandoned by him before trial—that McCormack’s defamatory social media campaign had led to him being disinvited from a number of conferences around the world. The evidence ultimately did not corroborate this, which is presumably why Dr. Wright did not press it before the judge. There were attempts by McCormack’s lawyers to refute the conference evidence at trial, but they floundered: McCormack purported to introduce an eleventh-hour witness, an organizer of one of these conferences who was apparently going to testify that she had never invited Dr. Wright. However, the witness never turned up.
On some level, the costs are immaterial—Dr. Wright’s motivation in the proceedings has always been to vindicate his reputation. As the trial judge found that Peter McCormack had indeed defamed Dr. Wright and caused serious harm to his reputation in the U.K., that aim has been achieved.
The judge also ordered that Dr. Wright attend court for directions to be given concerning the possible breach of an embargo on the trial judgment. This arises from messages posted by Dr. Wright to the Metanet Slack channel.
As expected, the judge also denied Dr. Wright’s request to appeal the award of only nominal damages. Dr. Wright is now likely to seek permission to the Court of Appeal directly.
The focus now turns to the potential for a direct appeal by Dr. Wright and the complete assessment of costs.
Check out CoinGeek’s special reports on Wright v McCormack.
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