Jessie Bowhill acted for the Claimant in her application to vacate an existing trial date of 11 January 2021 and adjourn the trial to Autumn 2021. The proceedings concern the publication by the Defendant in the Mail on Sunday of extracts of a handwritten letter written by HRH The Duchess of Sussex to her father, Thomas Markle, in 2019.
It was not suggested that an adjournment would cause the defendant any significant financial prejudice. Mr Markle, who had been identified as a potential witness for the defendant, was said to prefer an early trial, although there was no suggestion or medical evidence to indicate that a delay would make his availability less likely later in 2021, and it was not suggested that his feelings on the matter should guide the court’s decision.
The claimant’s application, which was not opposed by the defendant, was granted.