Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Cairns' pyrrhic victory

Chris Cairns has had a win in London's High Court in his libel action over former IPL boss Lalit Modi; the Herald reports:

Chris Cairns last night won $174,000 in damages and $775,000 in court costs in his libel case against the man who accused him of match-fixing.

"Today's verdict lifts a dark cloud that has been over me for the past two years," the Kiwi cricketing legend said in a statement late last night.

"I feel mixed emotions. Firstly, sadness that I should ever have had to put myself, my friends and my family through this because of one man's misdirected allegations.

"But I also feel great joy because my past career has come through unscathed and remains intact and because I had the courage to stand up in the highest court to defend my name.

"Lastly, I feel great relief that I am able to walk into any cricket ground in the world with my head held high."

But it may turn out to be a pyrrhic victory; read on:

But Cairns may have a fight on his hands to get the money as the defendant, former Indian Premier League commissioner Lalit Modi, has been declared bankrupt in a separate hearing over unpaid bills to a security firm.

Cairns, 41, was on a "no win, no fee" agreement with his lawyer. But Justice David Bean ordered Modi to pay £400,000 ($775,000) of Cairns' court costs within 28 days.

He has until April 20 to lodge an appeal.

Most important for Cairns however is his reputation, which will remain untarnished, despite all the innuendo that surrounds cases such as these. The Judge was scathing towards Modi in his judgment, and also issued an injunction forbidding further defamation.

There's also a salutory lesson here for social media users. At the crux of this case was a tweet on Twitter. The judgment against Modi has shown that social media users are not immune from the consequences of their interactions.


Quintin Hogg said...

Mohdi will appeal.
Nothing more certain.
Whether he will succeed is another matter.

Tinman said...

Not sure pyrrhic is quite the right description.

The costs component was ordered paid by Mohdi virtually immediately meaning Cairns, in theory, has no responsibility for these costs.

Cairns is unlikely to get the damages anytime soon but the clearing of his name and restoration of his reputation has been widely publicised and the judges comments make very interesting reading indeed.

I note also Mohdi has declared bankruptcy (or been declared bankrupt) which should probably rule out an appeal of any consequence.

Anonymous said...

Presumably Cairns will have to pay his lawyer as the "no win, no fee" threshold has been passed.

If Mohdi is bankrupt, or avoids payment in some other way, then Cairns could be seriously out of pocket.

Keeping Stock said...

Quite so Anon; hence the title of this post. Even though Cairns has won, it may yet come at significant cost.