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Wembley battle to go another round as parties win leave to appeal

The court battle between Brookfield Multiplex and Cleveland Bridge over problems at Wembley Stadium is set to go another round, after the Court of Appeal granted permission for both sides to contest last year’s ruling.

The appeal could potentially be worth as much as another £5 million for the stadium’s main contractor Multiplex, which won almost £8 million in damages, interest and costs in the High Court trial against its former steelwork subcontractor.

The decision goes against the September ruling of High Court judge Lord Justice Jackson, who denied both sides leave to appeal and criticised them for not having settled the dispute sooner.

He described their inability to come to a resolution as like watching both sides “freewheeling down a hill [and] both bicycle off the end of a precipice and into the abyss”.

Nevertheless both Multiplex and CBUK made applications to the Court of Appeal to override his decision.

The court has confirmed Multiplex will be allowed to contest all four grounds it felt were unfairly ruled on, not least the matter of legal costs, which has turned out to be one of the most significant points for financial gain in the entire case.

At September last year, the total legal costs of the long-running dispute were estimated to be about £22 million.

Lord Justice Jackson ruled CBUK should pay 20 per cent of Multiplex’s costs – an estimated £1.75 million of £9 million. But it is understood Multiplex will fight for 100 per cent of its costs to be paid, with the hope of achieving at least 60 per cent.

CBUK has also been given permission to appeal three “technical points”, but had permission to challenge another three grounds denied. The contractor said it had not yet decided whether it would follow through with legal action on the points it had applied to appeal.

Both sides have until 10 April to file their final bundles to the court, after which a listing officer will decide a date for the appeal to be heard.

Brookfield declined to comment on the case.