QC In Same Sex Marriage Appeal Cost $61K

November 30, 2018

The cost to the Government for the services of James Guthrie QC for the recent same sex marriage appeal were just over $61,000 – his legal costs were $53,339.80, and his travel and accommodation costs were $7,848.21, the Government said this morning.

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A Government spokesperson said, “The Minister of Home Affairs Walter Roban would like to make clear to the public that the figure of $400,000 which has been widely and repeatedly reported in the media as the cost to the Bermuda Government of the Appeal in the ‘Attorney-General v Ferguson and Others’ case, is greatly exaggerated, false and incorrect.

“On 26th November, the Minister of Home Affairs committed to the public that, once a final figure has been determined regarding the Appeal, he would provide that figure.

“Government is not yet aware of any costs filed by the opposing counsels, however we can report that the cost to the Government for the services of Mr. James Guthrie, QC totalled $61,188.01. His legal costs were $53,339.80; the remaining costs of $7,848.21 were for travel and accommodation.”

While the costs for the QC, a British lawyer who traveled to Bermuda to handle the case, were $61,188.01; the overall cost to the Government for the appeal is likely to be higher, as they may have to pay the costs for local lawyers Mark Pettingill and Rod Attride Stirling, who successfully defended against the appeal, having represented the applicants of the original case.

On November 23rd, Bermuda’s Court of Appeal handed down their ruling; with the Court dismissing the Government’s appeal, marking the latest court victory for same sex marriage.

The ruling was, in effect, the third court ruling in favour of it, as same sex marriage was initially legalised following a Court decision in May 2017, then the Court ruled in favour of it again in June 2018 when a challenge was brought to the Domestic Partnership Act, and on Friday the Court dismissed the Government’s appeal.

Having been through the Supreme Court and Appeals Court, the final possible place of appeal is now the Privy Council in England, and the Government said they “will determine its next steps within the prescribed period of 21 days in which any application for leave to appeal must be made.”

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Comments (22)

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  1. lol says:

    Oh Cool, so only a years salary

  2. chart says:

    If this is true, it means the Gov did not expect to win this and he entered the court with close to no prep.

    However, I suspect that it is not entirely accurate. I have used QC myself in the past – you cross the 50K barrier in a heart beat.

    • legalgal says:

      Or the estimate (whoever provided it) was based on inflated Bermuda fee scales! This is high but it can be a false economy not to brief a QC. Their expertise can save time and costs long term. Let’s see the Bermuda side of the costs!

    • Kevin says:

      The plp think we are idiots ,,,,,61k what a disgrace its in line with Port royal start at 12m and end up at 30m or every other expenditure …..still wonder what it cost to bring the uighers to the island and housing and expenses ……plp supporters this belongs to you and you must be proud of your / their accomplishments …..

  3. Holy Moly says:

    PLP – forget about all this obscene spending and move into this century!

  4. Toodle-oo says:

    “The Minister of Home Affairs Walter Roban would like to make clear to the public that the figure of $400,000 which has been widely and repeatedly reported in the media as the cost to the Bermuda Government of the Appeal in the ‘Attorney-General v Ferguson and Others’ case, is greatly exaggerated, false and incorrect.”

    Remember the deliberately exaggerated and still repeated to this day false claims as to how much the AC cost ?

    Well , the shoe is on the other foot now and you seem to be finding it very annoying !

  5. lol says:

    and all the other costs directly and indirectly associated with the case? plus the PR debacle it created overseas for tourism? 400k is way under-clubbing it.

  6. chart says:

    Time to file a PATI

  7. Tony Brannon says:

    Cost estimates are not the problem and hurt nobody.

    The big lie was governments claim that 68% of Bermudians were against SSM when the facts and truth are less than a third of all registered voters said NO to #MarriageEquality.
    Any amount cynically paid to a #HumanRights #lawyer to deny a minority #equality @slipruler is egregious.

  8. Mark says:

    This is absolute nonsense. Anybody who has any knowledge of the costs of a QC know this is not true. Perhaps thats what he cost per day but certainly not for 3 days of court and however many other hours of work. Flat out lies.

  9. just wondering says:

    find this very difficult to believe – I have engaged QC’s in a professional capacity many times – for a three day hearing plus all the preparation etc it would be well into the 6 figure range.

  10. eyes wide open says:

    $61,188.01 could have fed and clothed and assisted many homeless people but the plp don’t care about them

  11. Slipnut says:

    This money could have been used for our schools, the teachers didn’t come to work today because of lack of funding.

  12. Chum says:

    I think he’s lying.

  13. Trump supporter says:

    More lies.
    OBA get ready, all the seams are coming apart and circles are starting to collide.

  14. Stevie says:

    Plp wasting earned money OBA brought in. Hey E-Wart Burt is premier not you. Burt you got no clue.

  15. Stevie says:

    Those who voted plp in must be feeling like real bad. 1998-2012 allover again.

  16. JON says:

    PLP I encourage you to continue your fight against SSM. The battle is The Lord’s….

    • Mike Hind says:

      This is literally the entire problem with your side.

      You CANNOT demand that Government favour one religion over everyone else.
      That is a core tenet of our Constitution.

      You are encouraging the Government to break the law, a law we ALL agree is a good one.

  17. Question says:

    They want us to think the total cost of bringing this appeal was $61,000. That is ridiculous. Even the most minor appeal case costs $1m upwards, all in. They don’t want us to know how much they wasted.

  18. It’s money that should have never been spent says:

    This is a perfect example of PLP spin. The opposition stated someone and they reacted to it while forgetting to come clean on the fact that they knew the appeal was a failure to launch but pandered to the base instead.

    In this case it was just throwing tacos payers money into the wind.

    Nice try Mr. Roban but you sound silly and duplicitous

    Jah love.

  19. Real Deal says:

    the future of our children and families is sad. these forces will try to out spend Gov.