Same-sex lawyer cost greatly exaggerated’
The cost of a top London barrister for the Government’s battle against same-sex marriage was “greatly exaggerated”, the home affairs minister said yesterday.
Walter Roban said that the estimated fee for James Guthrie QC was $61,188 — not the $200,000 to $400,000 suggested by sources.
Mr Guthrie appeared for the Government in a Court of Appeal case, which also involved Rod Ferguson and others, who sought to restore marriage equality in Bermuda after it was removed by a law designed to replace marriage for gay people with a civil partnership arrangement.
The appeals court ruled in favour of a restoration of same-sex marriage, although the Government could still take the case to the Privy Council in London, the island’s final court of appeal.
The home affairs ministry said: “On November 26, the Minister of Home Affairs committed to the public that, once a final figure has been determined regarding the appeal, he would provide that figure.
“Government is not yet aware of any costs filed by the opposing counsels.”
The ministry said the cost of Mr Guthrie’s legal services was $53,339.80, with another $7,848.21 spent on travel and accommodation.