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Wagatha Chrisie trial: Lawyers and associates supporting Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy

Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy have enlisted some of the country’s finest legal minds as they go head to head in the celebrity trial of the decade.

Today was the second instalment of the £3million ‘Wagatha Christie’ libel trial between the two footballer’s wives which  featured a tearful appearance in the witness box, Whatsapp ‘gossip’ about a mystery celebrity affair and yet more foul-mouthed text messages – all brought to an end by a fittingly dramatic fire alarm.

Coleen publicly ‘outed’ her fellow WAG when she accused her of sharing three fake stories she had posted on her personal Instagram with The Sun as part of what she described as a social media ‘sting’ operation. Rebekah vehemently denied the allegation – leading her to launch the pricey legal action which saw its second day on Wednesday.

While yesterday’s hearing dredged up Peter Andre’s alleged ‘chipolata’ manhood, today focused on Rebekah’s relationship with her agent Caroline Watt.

In the Vardy corner is hacked off founder Hugh Tomlinson QC – as well as two glamorous members of the legal team, including one who was once named one of the ‘sexiest lawyers’ in the UK.

Meanwhile, Coleen has been joined in court by her football superstar husband Wayne as well as Hollywood’s favourite lawyer  David Sherborne and rising legal mind Ben Hamer.

Here, FEMAIL reveals who’s who at the trial that’s kept the nation gripped… 

TEAM VARDY 

Hugh Tomlinson QC 

Hugh Tomlinson QC, who is representing Ms Vardy, is a top-flight privacy silk who has launched dozen of battles with the press in his four decade career.

The Leeds-born, Oxford-educated lawyer last year advocated successfully in a claim against a journalist and author after she made false allegations that Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea FC on Vladimir Putin’s orders.

He was one of several lawyers representing Russian oligarchs whose ethics were questioned in parliament by the Conservative MP Bob Seely following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Hugh Tomlinson QC, who is representing Ms Vardy, is a top-flight privacy silk who has launched dozen of battles with the press in his four decade career

The lawyer was on the side of Jeremy Clarkson’s ex-wife Alex Hall when he tried to – but dropped – efforts to stop her claiming they had an affair during his later marriage.

He also successfully represented Prince Charles as the royal sought to stop the publishing of his Hong Kong travel diaries, saying public interest justifications were ‘far-fetched’.

And in an earlier case, he won substantial damages for Christopher Jefferies after press coverage incorrectly associated him with the murder of his tenant Joanna Yeates in 2010.

A year later he co-founded Hacked Off, the group campaigning for tighter media regulation, which he now chairs, and which has backers such as Hugh Grant and Steve Coogan.

Tomlinson was born in Woodhouse in Leeds where he went to Leeds Grammar School and then Balliol College, Oxford, leaving with the top first in PPE.

He then took up philosophical studies at Sussex University before going to the University of Paris in 1977. In 2000 he was a founding member of Matrix Chambers in London.

Dr Rosa Malley

Also in Rebekah’s legal team is Dr Rosa Malley, 37,  an Associate in the Dispute Resolution team at top law firm Kingsley Napley.

Rosa, like Hugh, was a part of the Hacked Off campaign and specialises in reputation and media matters, according to her online bio.

She previously worked as a paralegal at top city law firm Mishcon de Reya, who led the High Court bid to led the High Court bid to stop Boris Johnson triggering Brexit.

One of their barristers, Anthony Julius, acted for Princess Diana in her divorce from Prince Charles.

Also in Rebekah's legal team is Dr Rosa Malley, 37, an Associate in the Dispute Resolution team at top law firm Kingsley Napley

Also in Rebekah’s legal team is Dr Rosa Malley, 37, an Associate in the Dispute Resolution team at top law firm Kingsley Napley

Rebekah Vardy, wife of Leicester City soccer player Jamie Vardy, leaves the Royal Courts of Justice in London

Rebekah Vardy, wife of Leicester City soccer player Jamie Vardy, leaves the Royal Courts of Justice in London

The firm also represented Heather Mills in her divorce case against Beatles star Paul McCartney, before separating ‘amicably’ from their client.

The company also acted for former Liberal Democrat Cabinet minister Chris Huhne when he faced allegations of perverting the course of justice by ‘swapping’ speeding points with his wife. Mr Huhne was later sentenced to eight months in prison.

Rosa, who got her PhD studying the Representation of Women in British Politics at University of Bristol in 2011

She works in pre and post-publication for broadcast media, and has also worked in crisis management with politicians, sportspeople, celebrities and high profile criminal defendants. 

Before her legal career, Rosa worked in politics, as a researcher at the ThinkTank Institute for Government and as a Special Projects Manager for the Hacked Off campaign.  She also taught  British Politics at Birkbeck, University of London.

Fittingly for the case in question, Rosa has experience in online reputation and  abuse on social media

Charlotte Harris

Like Rosa, Charlotte Harris, 44, worked at Hacked Off and for eminent law firm Mishcon de Reya.

Described as ‘one of the most sought out privacy lawyers in the land’ she boasts a client base of ‘MPs, celebrities, PR experts, sports agents, sports people’.

In 2013, she married  investment banker James Burr, with a very star-studded guest list including Hugh Grant, MP Tom Watson, MP Chris Huhne, and Max Clifford.

Like Rosa, Charlotte Harris (pictured), 44, worked at Hacked Off and for eminent law firm Mishcon de Reya

Like Rosa, Charlotte Harris (pictured), 44, worked at Hacked Off and for eminent law firm Mishcon de Reya

Rebekah Vardy, wife of Leicester City soccer player Jamie Vardy arrives at the Royal Courts of Justice in London with her legal team

Rebekah Vardy, wife of Leicester City soccer player Jamie Vardy arrives at the Royal Courts of Justice in London with her legal team

At the wedding millionaire former Energy Secretary Chris Huhne enjoyed his last night of liberty before he was sentenced the next day at Southwark crown court to eight months’ imprisonment. 

Writing in the Diary column for the New Stateman at the time, Mr Watson said he ‘entertained’ the gathering of celebrities, MPs, bankers and highly remunerated senior Mishcon staff with a karaoke rendition of the new wave anthem Teenage Kicks.  

Clearly beauty and brains, she was named one of the country’s sexiest lawyers in 2015 in a list is put together by the website Legal Cheek.

Charlotte has appeared before Parliamentary Select Committees throughout her career, including the Leveson Inquiry and was described as a ‘force of nature and always ready for a fight’ by Chambers and Partners High Net Worth Guide in 2020.

Who else is supporting Rebekah? 

Security  

Rebekah  has also been seen going into court accompanied by a burly security guard.

She’s previously discussed how security is important to her and added that she’s faced threats since her feud with Coleen went public. 

She told OK! magazine ahead of the 2018 World Cup that she and her family were bringing their own security to the games.

Rebekah has also been seen going into court accompanied by a burly security guard.

Rebekah has also been seen going into court accompanied by a burly security guard.

Rebekah is seen heading into court today

Rebekah is seen heading into court today

Nicola McLean 

Fellow WAG Nicola McLean has seemingly thrown her support behind Mrs Vardy several times – once stating that Mrs Rooney is ‘not as private’ as she is considered while also insisting Mrs Vardy is not interested in the fame game.

Nicola is married to Tom Williams, who now plays for Hashtag United of the Essex Senior League. Tom is a defender and midfielder and made nearly 300 appearances in the Football League playing for numerous clubs, including QPR and West Ham.

The I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here star, who has been married to Tom since 2009, told Closer Magazine in 2020: ‘I’ve had different experiences at different clubs but the WAG world can be a b****y mean girls like existence…

‘There can be rivalry and unfriendliness with someone in the group and the top dog and there can be a lot of drama. It isn’t just amazing holidays and designer clothes there can be a lot of behind-the-scenes politics between the girls.’

On some of the most famous WAGS, she went on: ‘A lot of women want to emulate Victoria Beckham, Alex Gerrard, Elen Rivas – they dine out on the fact they’re a WAG and it can consume you.’

Nicola then pointed out that it is not all it seems with Mrs Vardy and Mrs Rooney: ‘I know some WAGs will only be interested in the hierarchy, fame and drama but I don’t believe Rebekah is like that. She’s not fussed about the press or limelight.

‘Everyone thinks Coleen is really private – but remember she’s done countless interviews, books and even her own TV show.’

Caroline Watt 

Mrs Vardy’s friend and agent, Ms Watt has featured in some of the preliminary hearings, despite not being a party to the claim or giving evidence at the trial.

She is a former Virgin Atlantic air hostess who has been Rebekah’s agent for the past seven years, helping to build her profile in the national media.

Reports that she no longer represents her following the current controversy engulfing the two have been dismissed as inaccurate with Ms Watt remaining close to Ms Vardy both professionally and personally.

Ms Watt, 39, is married to former footballer Steve Watt, who played briefly for Chelsea, making one Premier League appearance for two minutes in 2005 and Swansea City. He is currently manager of Kent non-league side Hythe Town and they have two children.

Mrs Vardy's friend and agent, Ms Watt has featured in some of the preliminary hearings, despite not being a party to the claim or giving evidence at the trial.

Mrs Vardy’s friend and agent, Ms Watt has featured in some of the preliminary hearings, despite not being a party to the claim or giving evidence at the trial.

After leaving the airline industry, Ms Watt began working as an agent in the world of entertainment, quickly developing a reputation for her communication skills and ability to network.

She was formerly employed by talent agency The Frontrow Partnership but left in 2019 to go it alone and took her main client and close friend, Ms Vardy with her.

Ms Watt has been credited with building Ms Vardy’s public profile by ensuring that she regularly featured in the national media and also brokered the deal for her to appear on the hit reality TV show I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! in 2018.

Ms Watt started representing the high-profile WAG in 2015, when her husband, Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy shot to fame.

She is a regular visitor to the Vardy’s Lincolnshire home and also socialises with Ms Vardy, attending glitzy parties and bars.

Her other clients include the former Page 3 girl Nicola McLean but it is Ms Vardy that has been the biggest asset in her career as an agent.

TEAM ROONEY 

David Sherborne  

Unlike Rebekah, Coleen arrived at court with just her husband and not an entourage of lawyers.

However, her legal team is just as impressive and versed in the world of celebrity as her fellow WAG’s.

David Sherborne, 53, who has been dubbed one of Hollywood’s favourite lawyers, is acting for Mrs Rooney.

He was lead counsel for victims of press intrusion in the Leveson inquiry, and represented Johnny Depp in his libel suit against The Sun. In November 2020, the High Court ruled that Depp had lost his case.

In September 2020, Sherborne was dropped from the Duchess of Sussex’s legal team in her case against The Mail on Sunday following an early setback.

David Sherborne, 53, who has been dubbed one of Hollywood's favourite lawyers, is acting for Mrs Rooney.

David Sherborne, 53, who has been dubbed one of Hollywood’s favourite lawyers, is acting for Mrs Rooney.

Sherborne's previous clients also include Princess Diana, Melania Trump, Sir Paul McCartney, Sienna Miller, Kate Moss and Harry Styles. He is pictured today

Sherborne’s previous clients also include Princess Diana, Melania Trump, Sir Paul McCartney, Sienna Miller, Kate Moss and Harry Styles. He is pictured today

Sherborne’s previous clients also include Princess Diana, Melania Trump, Sir Paul McCartney, Sienna Miller, Kate Moss and Harry Styles.

His father was a QC, but while he comes from a legal family, he is seen as a ‘rebel’ in many ways due to his apparent fondness for the limelight.

A former colleague told The Times: ‘He likes to present a fun, outgoing persona and is very limelight-seeking. All the other barristers in chambers were hyper-critical of him breaking the rules.’

While he’s known for rubbing shoulders with A-listers, Tattler and Evening Standard both commented he is ‘so handsome’  he could be a celebrity himself.

The twice-married barrister was revealed to be having an affair with a member of Lord Leveson’s junior counsel, Carine Patry Hoskins in 2013-.

Ms Hoskins, dubbed the ‘thinking man’s Pippa Middleton’ -was Lord Leveson’s number two, while Mr Sherborne was defending Hugh Grant and other hacking  victims.

Ben Hamer

There was a rare moment of light relief amidst the morning’s fierce cross-examination when Mr Sherborne mentioned that his junior, Ben Hamer, 29,  was ‘very adept at searching online through social media on his phone.’

Rebekah shot back, without smiling: ‘I know, Mr Hamer follows me on Twitter’ to laughter in the court.

But this isn’t Ben’s first celebrity case. He’s previously  Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard  and acted for the claimant in Blackledge v Person(s) Unknown where libel and harassment damages of £70,000 were awarded against the Defendant. 

Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of Coleen Rooney's barrister David Sherborne (right) questioning Rebekah Vardy as she gives evidence at the Royal Courts Of Justice,

Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of Coleen Rooney’s barrister David Sherborne (right) questioning Rebekah Vardy as she gives evidence at the Royal Courts Of Justice,

Coleen and Wayne Rooney leave the Royal Courts Of Justice, London, after the high-profile libel battle between Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney entered its second day.

Coleen and Wayne Rooney leave the Royal Courts Of Justice, London, after the high-profile libel battle between Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney entered its second day.

The Durham University graduate was first called to the Bar in 2017 at Lincoln’s Inn, where he was a Lord Bowen and Lord Denning scholar.

Very accomplished at a young age, he’s previously was presented with the Benjamin Franklin House Literary Prize for his work on free speech and fake news. 

He now provides pre-publication advice to various publications such as The Times and The Sunday Times as well as HarperCollins and Bloomsbury publishers. He is security cleared to SC level.

Ben began as a tenant at 5RB after successful completion of pupillage at Chambers. His supervisors were Adam Wolanski QC, Jonathan Barnes QC, Richard Munden and Adam Speker QC.

Ben was called to the Bar in 2017 at Lincoln’s Inn, where he was a Lord Bowen and Lord Denning scholar.

In 2017, Ben was presented with the Benjamin Franklin House Literary Prize, run in conjunction with the Daily Telegraph, for his writing on free speech, social media and ‘fake news’. As an undergraduate, he edited Palatinate, where he won the Hunter Davies Prize for Student Journalism.

Who else is on Team Coleen? 

WAYNE ROONEY

Coleen has been joined in court by supportive husband Wayne, with whom she shares four children, while Jamie Vardy is yet to be pictured in court.

Wayne, who has been with Coleen since the age of 16, last played with Jamie for England in 2016.

Both husbands have kept mostly quiet on the clash, however Wayne did note in his Sunday Times column before last year’s European championships that he would have drafted Jamie Vardy into the England team.

He added: ‘Some people may be surprised at this, especially with the legal case between my wife and Jamie’s wife.’

The former Premier League and England striker will take to the witness stand at London’s High Court where he will be questioned under oath over how much he knew about his wife’s ‘Wagatha Christie’ investigation.

Coleen has been joined in court by supportive husband Wayne, with whom she shares four children, while Jamie Vardy is yet to be pictured in court.

Coleen has been joined in court by supportive husband Wayne, with whom she shares four children, while Jamie Vardy is yet to be pictured in court.

Both husbands have kept mostly quiet on the clash, however Wayne did note in his Sunday Times column before last year’s European championships that he would have drafted Jamie Vardy into the England team.

Both husbands have kept mostly quiet on the clash, however Wayne did note in his Sunday Times column before last year’s European championships that he would have drafted Jamie Vardy into the England team.

A source close to the case told MailOnline: ‘Wayne is 100 per cent going into the witness box and this is just going to add to the drama of the whole occasion. Hugh Tomlinson is a very experienced barrister, and this could be one of the toughest opponents Wayne has ever faced.

‘Rebekah’s lawyers are adamant that he should be cross examined under oath about how much he knew about what Coleen was getting up to and that the truth will emerge.’

Ms Rooney has always maintained that nobody was aware of her ‘sting operation’ when she decided to post a number of fake Instagram stories and eventually limit who could see them to just Ms Vardy. Three of these were later published in The Sun and are at the centre of the sensational libel battle.

But Ms Vardy’s lawyers insist that several people could have been the source of the leaks and that Ms Rooney told Wayne and others about what she was getting up to while also sharing details of the false posts with them.

In addition to giving evidence, Wayne, the former Manchester United striker who is currently manager of Derby County, is also expected to accompany his wife when she attends the High Court for the trial, which is expected to last a week.

Meanwhile, when Rebekah furiously denied the allegation in a lengthy Twitter statement, her husband showed his support by liking her post. 

OTHER WAGS 

Mrs Rooney thanked her fans and said there ‘are a lot of really good people’ in the world in an Instagram story in February 2022.

And along with her devoted fans, the WAG has also been publicly supported by Danielle Lloyd, who came forth with similar claims about Mrs Vardy leading to a row between the duo on social media in 2019.

Mrs Lloyd made a thinly-veiled dig at Mrs Vardy after weighing in on the Mrs Rooney row during an episode of This Morning.

Mrs Rooney thanked her fans and said there 'are a lot of really good people' in the world in an Instagram story in February 2022. And along with her devoted fans, the WAG has also been publicly supported by Danielle Lloyd, who came forth with similar claims about Mrs Vardy leading to a row between the duo on social media in 2019.

Mrs Rooney thanked her fans and said there ‘are a lot of really good people’ in the world in an Instagram story in February 2022. And along with her devoted fans, the WAG has also been publicly supported by Danielle Lloyd, who came forth with similar claims about Mrs Vardy leading to a row between the duo on social media in 2019.

The TV personality detailed her ‘similar run-ins’ with the footballer’s wife, before Mrs Vardy claimed Mrs Lloyd was only upset because she didn’t ‘recruit’ one of Jamie’s footballer pals for her after her divorce from Jamie O’Hara

This came amid reports that many of the WAGs had distanced themselves from Mrs Vardy at the time and were busy ‘scrutinising’ past conversations with her, following the fallout from her feud with Mrs Rooney.

Following Mrs Lloyd’s appearance on This Morning, Mrs Vardy was quick to retaliate, as she took to Twitter to claim that the TV personality’s admission was ‘utter b******s’ and their feud was sparked by her refusal to try and find Mrs Lloyd a man following her split from Jamie [O’Hara].

She wrote: ‘Danielle Lloyd making false claims on @thismorning that we have had ‘similar run-ins’ is utter b****cks. She is just fuming that I ‘didn’t get Jamie recruiting’ for her like she asked me to…’

 

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