Solicitors face £38,000 pay-out over foreign satellite appeal

By James Wilmore

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Foreign satellite football Appeal

A legal firm at the centre of the battle over foreign satellite football is facing a pay-out of £38,000 after an appeal over a licensee's conviction...

A legal firm at the centre of the battle over foreign satellite football is facing a pay-out of £38,000 after an appeal over a licensee's conviction was abandoned.

Paul Dixon, of Molesworth Bright Clegg (MBC), has agreed to pay £25,000 costs to Media Protection Services, the company that investigates and prosecutes publicans on behalf of the Premier League, and £13,000 to licensee Claire Race.

The case began in April last year when Race, of the Blue Stoops, in Dronfield, Derbyshire, was convicted of screening foreign satellite football, contrary to the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act.

During this case, Race was represented by MBC, and an appeal against the conviction was lodged the following month.

However the licensee then employed another solicitor, Rob Stubbs, of the firm Banner Jones to represent her. He claims the appeal was lodged "without her authority".

In a statement, Stubbs said: "When Mrs Race discovered that the appeal had been submitted she agreed to withhold withdrawing the appeal pending promised developments in similar cases, having been assured that there would be no financial risk to her.

"Mrs Race subsequently sought to withdraw the appeal in April 2010. This decision was motivated by Mrs Race's concern that she was in fact exposed to a financial risk, which ultimately proved to be the case."

However, in a statement Paul Dixon said: "At all times we acted in good faith and with the best interests of our client at heart. Although Mrs Race instructed us to continue the appeal proceedings on a number of occasions, she subsequently decided to abandon her appeal for private reasons, and therefore we felt it was appropriate and in the bests interests of our former client to meet the costs so that she would not be out of pocket.

"Had Mrs Race pursued her appeal to a conclusion we have no doubt that it would have been successful, in the same way that dozens of our clients have either been acquitted by magistrates courts or succeeded on appeal."

Meanwhile, the issue of foreign satellite football is set to reach the European Court of Justice next month, when a high-profile case involving licensee Karen Murphy and suppliers is heard in Luxembourg.

Related topics Legislation

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