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Lawyer defends phone-hacking surveillance move

23rd May 2012

A lawyer has defended his controversial decision to put two solicitors representing supposed phone-hacking victims under surveillance.

The contentious media lawyer, who is partner at a leading London-based firm, was hired by News Corporation in 2011 as they sought to deny allegations of wrongdoing, and has admitted suggesting to his client that a private investigator follow the people in question.

The solicitor’s wisdom in the matter has been questioned by MPs on the Home Affairs Committee in a panel hearing, but he has rigorously defended the decision and said that, given similar circumstances, he would make it again.

Another partner from the practice said that he believed no-one holding legal jobs in his firm or elsewhere would authorise a private investigator to undertake illegal surveillance acts, and that his colleague had not done anything that was inappropriate. 

The committee was told how, when it comes to litigation cases, employing private investigators can sometimes be just as effective and less time-consuming than going through the police.