Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Docherty's Bill Puts Warwick's Costs over £100K

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Docherty's Bill Puts Warwick's Costs over £100K

Article excerpt

The University of Warwick has agreed to pay the £66,000 legal bill incurred by Thomas Docherty, the professor whom it suspended after claims that he had sighed and used negative body language towards his former boss.

Warwick's payment of full costs for the professor of English and comparative literature puts the disclosed legal bill for the case at £109,000, including part of the university's own spending. However, the university refuses to reveal its full legal bill.

Details of the legal bill will raise more questions about why Warwick proceeded so far with the case.

Professor Docherty, a prominent critic of the marketisation of higher education, was suspended in January 2014 and faced a university tribunal after being accused of undermining the authority of his former head of department, Catherine Bates. He was cleared of all charges by the tribunal in October.

It is understood that shortly before the tribunal was held, the university told Professor Docherty that it would be represented by barristers, prompting him to hire his own barrister and thus escalating costs.

Warwick told Times Higher Education last week in a statement that it would be paying Professor Docherty's costs, which it put at £55,000 plus VAT. …

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