Interesting developments on the case which the Packham 3 Fundraising Team have just sent through to us. It gives the main points and a summary of the Case Management Conference held on the 30th of June. It also mentions releasing further updates as the case progresses over the next few weeks.
Summary of Outcome of Case Management Conference
On Thursday 30th June 2022 there was a case management conference for our case attended by our barrister. Packham’s side saw fit to send five lawyers, including two junior barristers, for the hearing which began at 1030 a.m. Following a slightly extended break over lunch, it finally finished just before 1800.
The morning dealt with the question of whether the parties should be allowed to call experts to address certain aspects of the case. While the afternoon dealt with the cost’s budgets, including the proportionality of Packham’s half a million-pound budget.
The Master has now made Directions for the next steps in the action, and we were pleased with the outcome of the hearing. The headline points arising from the case management conference are:
- Packham did not want there to be expert evidence on any of the key issues in the case, which have developed in our Defence and his Reply. Despite his protests, the Court granted permission for us to use three experts. The basis includes us serving further particulars of our case along with our expert evidence, after which Packham will serve his own particulars and expert evidence. This will have to take place by the end of September 2022. Our experts will address three issues. Firstly, an analysis of Packham’s handwriting to test our allegation that he faked his own death threat letter. Secondly, to look at the scientific evidence as to whether keeping big cats in the circus is inherently cruel. And thirdly, evidence relating to whether muirburns (which are used to maintain grouse moors) result in the burning of peat. In relation to the second and third issues, we will also give details of our case about Packham’s alleged knowledge of these issues.
- The trial is going to take place between 1 May and 31 July 2023, so we won’t be rushed into a trial immediately after Christmas as Packham wanted. We were sad to hear that this will potentially interfere with Packham’s filming commitments. He argued this justified an early trial. However, this timescale gives us the opportunity to gather support for our case, and funds.
- The Court made an adverse comment on the costs of Packham issuing and pleading his case. These were part of the £160k in costs that he incurred before the Court could exercise any kind of control over them. The court ruled these were “distinctly high” and that a costs judge should consider any explanation given in relation to them very carefully.
- The Court also ruled that Packham should not be instructing two barristers and adjusted his costs accordingly, although his costs remain intimidatingly high, and are at levels which his own barrister (in another case) called “life-changing”.
The Case continues
The case continues. We shall update you as and when there are further developments. We will also go public with the further particulars of our case (mentioned in 1. above) as soon as we can. Thank you very much indeed for your support so far. Let’s keep the donations coming.
The Packham 3 Fundraising Team
Link to the update