Reblogging some of Martin Hickman’s excellent coverage yesterday of the legal settlements News International made in 2010 to try to stem the flow of phone hacking information.
If anyone can give context and insight into this evidence, it’s Martin, whose book Dial M for Murdoch remains the second best book on the phone hacking scandal. (snark alert)
Mr Clifford was one of a small number of individuals named in court in 2006 who had their voicemails intercepted by the News of the World’s specialist phone hacker, Glenn Mulcaire.
After hearing that fellow victim Gordon Taylor had sued the NoW’s owners for compensation, Mr Clifford launched his own case which was proceeding through the courts in early 2010.
In January 2010, News International chief executive Mrs Brooks, legal chief Jonathan Chapman, NoW lawyer Tom Crone and Julian Pike from the law firm Farrers met to discuss how to conclude the case – which risked blowing the company’s lone rogue reporter defence.
Those present were especially concerned that Mr Clifford’s legal team had applied for a court order that, if granted, would force hacker Mulcaire to name which journalists commissioned him.
Read out at the hacking trial by prosecutor Andrew Edis QC today, the notes recorded: “Brooks reported that she got Max to agree £200,000 per annum to represent the Sun/do business with the Sun. He would call the lawyers off the next day if the deal was put in writing.” It added: “She [Brooks] then spoke to NGN’s lawyers who said she should not put anything in writing.”
Mrs Brooks, the note continued, discovered that she would not have to give evidence to the select committee after all, and: “Her view was things [a deal in writing] could change. The offer with Clifford still stands but the longer we go down the case the more difficult it will be to make the deal,” the note added. “We either get something in writing or she could physically turn up with cash to see him.”