PVO ordered to pay 10 legal bill

Former political editor ordered to pay 10's legal bill after losing a case with his former broadcaster.

Former political editor Peter van Onselen has been ordered to pay 10’s legal bill after losing a case with his former broadcaster.

10 sued after he penned a scathing article for The Australian in June.

Justice David Hammerschlag, earlier this month, ruled that to be a breach of his exit contract.

Van Onselen submitted he should not have to pay legal costs (or, if forced to pay any costs, he would pay them in a lump sum of $50,000) because 10 didn’t threaten him with litigation when he notified them of his intention to write the article.

The Australian reports Justice Hammerschlag sided with the broadcaster, stating: “The fact that 10 did not warn Dr van Onselen that he would be in breach does not in any way assuage the fact that he breached.

“After the proceedings commenced, Dr van Onselen continued to dispute that he was in breach,” he wrote in his judgment. “He went a step further and argued that (the disparagement clause) was void.”

His lawyer Sue Chrysanthou SC, has argued the contract was over-bearing.

“This summons is a lifetime order against a person whose profession it is to talk and to talk about politics and the media,” she said.