Council appoints QC in case brought by former City Mayor
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Louis Browne QC, from Exchange Chambers in Liverpool, has been instructed by Liverpool City Council to defend a Judicial Review brought by former City Mayor Joe Anderson.
The Police are investigating Mr Anderson as part of their Operation Aloft probe over allegations of bribery, conspiracy to commit bribery and witness intimidation.
The Judicial Review concerns Mr Anderson’s challenge to the council’s refusal to provide him with an indemnity in respect of legal costs incurred in the defence of these allegations. It is due to be heard in Manchester on a date to be fixed in July 2021.
Louis Browne QC has an established public law and judicial review practice and has been involved in some of the most significant work in this field in recent years.
He is ranked Tier 1 for his public law work in The Legal 500 2021 guide where he is described as a “highly skilled barrister with excellent knowledge of his working area.”
Mr Anderson, who denies any wrongdoing, was also featured in a recent government report, by Max Caller, into the running of Liverpool City Council.
He said: “Legal Costs Indemnity is within the constitution of Liverpool Council voted for by all councillors and is the norm in local government for elected members and officers in similar circumstances.
“Six senior officers at Liverpool City Council have already benefited from legal costs Indemnity in criminal investigations touching upon the issues raised in Max Caller’s recent report.
“And whilst I deny the allegations made against me by both Merseyside Police and Max Caller, I should be afforded that same Legal Costs Indemnity.”
A Liverpool City Council spokesperson said: “No one has been offered indemnity by Liverpool City Council regarding Operation Aloft on allegations of bribery, corruption and intimidation of witnesses.
“The city council is of the view that the current circumstances made known to it by Merseyside Police do not fall within the remit of the legislation.
“It should be noted that where individuals have the benefit of an indemnity, the money becomes repayable if that individual is subsequently convicted of a criminal offence.”