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Liverpool appoints Exchange Chambers QC to defend judicial review brought by former mayor over refusal to provide legal costs indemnity

Liverpool City Council has instructed Louis Browne QC from Exchange Chambers to defend a judicial review challenge brought by Joe Anderson, the former Mayor of Liverpool.

The police are investigating Mr Anderson over allegations of allegations of bribery, conspiracy to commit bribery and witness intimidation. 

Mr Anderson has strongly denied any wrongdoing and asserts that, until any charges are made against him and proved, he is entitled to the full presumption of innocence along with every other person investigated by the police.

The former mayor’s judicial review challenge is being brought on the ground that the city council is acting unlawfully in refusing to provide him with the same indemnity against legal costs which, Mr Anderson says, have been offered to other council members in similar circumstances.

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A High Court judge recently ordered an urgent trial for the case because, they said, the case has attracted national attention and "the consequences for both the Claimant and the Defendant are far reaching".

The case is due to be heard in Manchester on a date to be fixed in July 2021. 

David Lock QC and Galina Ward of Landmark Chambers are instructed by Oliver Wright of JMW Solicitors for Mr Anderson.

Evan Wright of JMW solicitors acts for Mr Anderson in the criminal investigation.

Earlier this month Landmark Chambers said the council had refused the usual indemnity offered to council members on the grounds that, if Mr Anderson acted in the way the police suggest, he would not have been acting lawfully. “Mr Anderson rejects that, and argues that this approach is unlawful because it assumes his guilt, and that is a breach of his rights."

Adam Carey

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