BLP partner files claim against News of the World for phone-hacking

Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) corporate and commercial disputes partner Graham Shear has launched a claim against the News of the World (NoW) for phone-hacking.

Shear (pictured) has appointed fellow BLP commercial litigator Joby Davies to advise him on the breach of privacy claim against NoW, as well as Matrix Chambers’ Hugh Tomlinson QC and David Sherborne of 5RB.

He launched the claim in April this year after being contacted by the Metropolitan Police in January about information found about him in the files of former NoW private investigator Glenn Mulcaire. Mulcaire was jailed in 2007 alongside former NoW royal editor Clive Goodman for hacking into the mobile phones of royal aides.

News of Shear’s claim came as he yesterday (25 July) issued phone-hacking proceedings against NoW on behalf of footballer Ashley Cole.

Shear said: “I approached the police back in 2008 on behalf of a long list of clients seeking confirmation as to whether their names and information had appeared in the Mulcaire files following the Goodman case, for which I received negative responses.

“However, Operation Weeting [the Metropolitan police enquiry into phone hacking] contacted me earlier this year concerning both myself and my clients, about information that was in fact in Mulcaire’s files. As a result, I have now filed a claim against NoW for phone-hacking.”

Shear, who has also acted for clients including Jude Law, has now seen the information contained within the files after issuing a Norwich Pharmacal order application requesting to see the data. The documents were delivered by the police last Friday (22 July).

Last week the Law Society expressed concerns about claims by solicitors that their phones may have been hacked by the now-defunct NoW and urged the police to investigate.

Des Hudson, chief executive of the Law Society said: “If hacking was carried out with the intention of undermining court action, it might well constitute an attempt to pervert the course of justice, which is a serious criminal offence.

“In any event, it is a shocking breach of the privacy of both solicitors and their clients.