Rebekah Vardy’s ‘Wagatha Christie’ lawyers worked on Christmas Day, court told

Ms Vardy is expected to challenge the amount Ms Rooney has been ordered to pay later this year.

But at Tuesday’s separate hearing, it was Ms Rooney who attempted to get Senior Costs Judge Andrew Gordon-Saker to reduce the significantly lower costs Ms Vardy had been ordered to pay for the pre-trial hearing.

The specialized judge is appointed to evaluate the costs and expenses incurred during civil cases, decide how much the winning parties can recover and even reduce the costs if they are considered unreasonable.

Robin Dunne, counsel for Ms Rooney, told Judge Gordon-Saker that the costs submitted by Ms Vardy were “excessive”, with “a significant amount of duplication” in the work carried out by her legal team.

“Unreasonable and disproportionate” costs

Mr Dunne said: “The costs are wholly unreasonable and disproportionate, even taking into account the complexity of the issues involved. These should be reduced to a reasonable amount. “There are obvious reductions to be made.”

But Jamie Carpenter KC, Ms Vardy’s lawyer, rejected the claim that her £325,000 legal bill (of which 20 per cent will have to be paid by Ms Rooney) was excessive.

He told the court: “We should not be surprised that there is a lot of work on this bill. “There was an enormous amount of work to do under enormous time pressure.”

Carpenter said this included preparing witness statements, finding and drafting social media posts, writing legal letters to Instagram and drafting a defence.

He said the timing of the second hearing in February 2022 had inevitably required lawyers and solicitors, including Hugh Tomlinson KC, Ms Vardy’s trial lawyer, to work over the festive period, including Christmas Day, Saint Stephen and New Year’s Day.

“No one was doing work they didn’t need to”

“The question is: Was it a reasonable process and did it take a reasonable amount of time?” she told the court. “There was hardly a day when work was not done.

“No one was doing any work that wasn’t necessary. No one was “generating costs.” “It was a job that absolutely had to be done and it was an enormous amount of work.”

In the libel trial, Judge Steyn ruled in Rooney’s favor, finding it “likely” that Ms Vardy’s former agent Caroline Watt had passed information to The Sun and that she “knew of and condoned this behaviour”.

The judge added that Ms Vardy had been “actively” involved, “directing Ms Watt to the private Instagram account, sending her screenshots of Ms Rooney’s posts, drawing attention to issues of possible interest to the press and responding to additional queries raised by the press through Mrs. Watt.”

The hearing will conclude on Wednesday. Neither Ms Rooney nor Ms Vardy were present in court.