A&O’s Mansell instructed by News Group in Mulcaire fees fight

Allen & Overy partner Mark Mansell is to represent News Group Newspapers in its battle over legal fees with private investigator Glenn Mulcaire.

Mulcaire launched a case for breach of contract against the newspaper group, which formerly published the News of the World, after it refused to continue paying his legal fees for cases brought against him in connection with the phone hacking scandal.

Mulcaire, who was jailed for six months in 2007 for intercepting messages on royal aides’ phones, is being represented by Payne Hicks Beach partner Sarah Webb who has instructed 39 Essex Street’s Ben Williams.

Mansell has drafted in One Essex Court heavyweight Alain Choo Choy QC to defend the claim for NGN.

The expedited trial will be heard in the week beginning 12 December. While the amount in dispute is not clear, a source close to the case said Mulcaire wanted a guarantee NGN would indemnify all legal costs relating to the hacking claims going forward.

It is understood that the newspaper group had agreed to pay Mulcaire’s fees in 2010 after he was joined as a second defendant in a series of claims relating to the phone hacking scandal.

A number of test cases will be heard in the High Court in January relating to the fall out from the scandal, with Olswang partner Dan Tench instructed for News International, replacing the company’s long term advisors at Farrer & Co (7 July 2011).