Letters: Reputations defended

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The Independent Online
CONTRARY TO Geoffrey Wheatcroft's assertion last Sunday ("What decency? What fair play?", 24 January), Joe Haines was right when he said that Lord Goodman "invariably opposed his clients suing for libel". I know because I was his partner at the time it was done in the Bevan, Crossman, Phillips case. He had strenuously sought an apology and, indeed, he gave evidence at the trial about the inadequacy, as he saw it, of Mr Carter Ruck's apology.

Of a more serious nature is the suggestion that Lord Goodman "knew his clients were committing perjury". I know of no foundation for this. The fact that Richard Crossman told Mr Wheatcroft 15 years later that Morgan Phillips was drunk cannot support the suggestion that Lord Goodman knew that at the time of the proceedings.

JOHN A BAKER

Richmond, Surrey

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