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Posted Thursday, December 3, 1998


Further problems for Anthony Julius . . .

December 3, 1998


Diana firm to lose key brief Maggie


THE GILDED life of Anthony Julius, the solicitor who helped negotiate Princess Diana's divorce, is becoming fraught with difficulty.

His firm Mishcon de Reya was heavily criticised for charging £500,000 for three months' work to the Diana Memorial Fund, of which Julius is a trustee.

He was divorced by his wife last month after he admitted adultery with the daughter of a client. And now his firm is to lose a key member of the team which handled the royal divorce.

Maggie Rae, who is a close friend of Cherie Booth, has been a stalwart at Mishcon de Reya for years. But she will shortly be taking her practice to another firm, Clinton's.


JuliusJulius got the credit for
handling Diana's divorce

Rae is tightlipped about the reason for her departure. "I can't possibly say anything. You'll have to ask Clinton's about my job description," she tells me. "Of course I am happy to be joining them."

Insiders suggest, however, that she feels her work at Mishcon de Reya has not been properly appreciated; and in particular that her contribution to Princess Diana's considerable divorce settlement, reputed to be £15 million, was not recognised. "It was all Anthony Julius this, Anthony Julius that," says a friend. "But he couldn't have pulled it off without Maggie's work."

The Sunday Telegraph

December 6, 1998


Diana fund appoints new legal advisers

Home Affairs Correspondent

A LEGAL firm associated with the world of showbusiness and media has replaced Mishcon de Reya as advisers to the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund.

Lawyers at Harbottle & Lewis will take over the role after being picked from about 60 law firms which applied for the post.

The fund, which has raised more than £35 million, decided in January to put all its professional work out to tender, five days after a newspaper revealed that Mishcon de Reya had submitted a bill for fees of £500,000, for 11 weeks work.

The fee was defended by the fund, who said the firm had already cut its bill by 20 per cent.

But there were accusations that Anthony Julius, former lawyer to Princess Diana who won her a £17 million divorce settlement, had a conflict of interest as a partner in Mishcon de Reya and chairman of the fund.

At the time he dismissed criticism, saying: - 'It is extraordinary what the firm has done to provide my services for nothing over a period of months and to provide the services of other lawyers at a level that does not cover costs." However, amid mounting criticism and claims that some fund trustees were concerned, it was decided to put future legal work out to contract.



Last night Andrew Purkis, the fund's chief executive, tried to diffuse any controversy over the decision. He said: "The fact that, in the end, we found another firm to be the most accurate fit with our needs for the future, does not detract from our respect and admiration of our colleagues at Mishcon, who have contributed brilliant gifts and shifted mountains of complex work. We are deeply grateful for all they have done for us and they will continue for a while tu manage the UK end of liti-gation in progress in the United States."

In a statement issued by the fund, Mishcon said: "We are proud of that part we played in setting up this unique and successful charity and we wish the fund and Harbottle & Lewis every success".

Mr Purkis explained why the new firm had been chosen. ''We were very impressed by the close match between Harbottle & Lewis's track record and special strengths and the fund's particular legal requirements."

In a statement Harbottle & Lewis said, "We greatly look forward to being able to contribute to the work of the fund." The firm, founded in 1955, is known for its work in the media and entertainment fields and has a strong intellectual property practice.

Harbottle & Lewis has represented clients including Richard Branson and his Virgin empire; Douglas Hall, the disgraced former director of Newcastle United foot-ball club; and the Jim Henson Company, which produces The Muppet Show.

The firm demanded apologies on Branson's behalf for remarks casting doubt on his allegation -- proved true in a libel case -- that Guy Snowden, former chief of American company GTech, tried to bribe him into withdrawing a bid to run the lottery.

Our opinion
THIS IS most unfortunate for the widely respected legal wizard Julius, who had previously been enjoying a number of spectacular successes. These included seeing a High Court judge throw out as defective both the affidavits sworn by his star witness Jonathan Mozzochi in the action brought by David Irving against his client Professor Deborah Lipstadt, and then discovering that Mozzochi himself, ex-president of the Oregon-based ADL front "Coalition for Human Dignity" was known to Portland city police as a former skinhead gang-leader. (Ouch.)

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