Phone Hacking Litigation: New claims and mounting speculation over other tabloids
New cases arising against News Group and Mirror Group
Phone hacking lawyers at Hamlins continue to be instructed to bring new claims for invasion of privacy against both News Group (The Sun and The News of the World) and Mirror Group (The Mirror, Sunday Mirror and The People newspapers).
Throughout 2018 there has been no slowdown in instructions with significant numbers of new cases arising.
Were you affected?
Phone hacking and other forms of unlawful activities, such as use of private investigators to “blag” information, were responsible for tens of thousands of articles which appeared in UK tabloids from as early as 1996 up until at least 2010.
Personal information concerning all areas of individuals’ private lives were gathered by journalists as well as private investigators paid by the press.
If stories appeared in the tabloids containing pieces of private information known only to you and a handful of people closely associated with you, and which was not voluntarily provided by you to the media, there is a high likelihood these came from hacking or blagging.
Sometimes, journalists also used hacked material to put victims under pressure to speak about private incidents, threatening to publish the information and forcing victims to give on the record comments.
You may be a celebrity or public figure but we are also being approached by agents, friends or members of the family of those who featured in stories who will frequently have successful claims.
How is a case built?
Hamlins’ specialist media team, acting under “no win – no fee” agreements, search for potential stories and sit with you to consider any which may appear suspicious. Tell-tale signs include attributing private information to a “source”, a “pal” or a “close friend”, for example. Articles usually form the basis of a claim. As the case progresses, you may then receive disclosure of call data concerning both your mobile number and also call data for your “associates”, reflecting voice messages you may have left on other people’s mobiles. Much call data was however destroyed and hacking often took place by use of “pay as you go” phones that left no such data.
Before issuing any claim, we send pre-action correspondence seeking information from the newspaper group. After that stage, we will be able to advise you as to whether to bring full legal action.
Legal case and damages
The compensation or “damages” you receive, usually as a result of a settlement at any stage before Trial, is paid to you in full. Our fees and those of your barrister are paid separately by the newspaper group and we do not look to you for those costs. We do not look to you for legal costs other than in circumstances where you have acted in a way during the case so as to harm your position.
Other remedies which we will seek include a public apology to you – if required – in the form of a Statement read in Court, as well as a private letter of apology and undertaking not to carry out such activities against you in the future.
We also recommend that you take out insurance which has no cost to you and which covers you in the likely event that there is a costs order against you. We will advise you as to this at an early stage.
Hamlins was appointed as “Lead Solicitor” by the Court in 2016 in all cases against NGN. Our position provides us with a broader understanding of the “generic case” against The Sun and News of the World and we are responsible for handling generic issues and disclosure and progressing cases towards Trial or settlement.
Going forward: other newspapers
There is mounting speculation that other UK tabloids were engaged in these sorts of unlawful activities. Hamlins will be ready to bring action once this litigation commences.
See more information on our phone hacking litigation team