Phone-hacking lawyer prepares to launch claims in US

Taylor Hampton partner Mark Lewis is set to bring a number of phone-hacking claims against News Corporation in the US courts.

Lewis has confirmed that he will be discussing three cases with New York-based lawyer Norman Siegel, a former director of the New York Civil Liberties Union. It is the first time that legal action over phone-hacking has moved outside the UK.

Lewis told the BBC that the alleged victims included a well-known sports person, another sports person and a US citizen, but that none were high profile.

Lewis will not name his clients, but described one of the cases as “collateral damage” and said the other two claimants believe they were in Britain when their phones were allegedly hacked.

He said: “This goes to the heartland of News Corporation and we’ll be looking at the involvement of the parent company in terms of claims there and that’s something that will be taken more seriously by perhaps the investors and shareholders in News Corporation.”

Lewis added that there was potential for more cases in the US courts. “I’ve been contacted by other English lawyers who wish to pursue claims and they’re also watching carefully as to what’s happening and working with me.”

Lewis represents the family of Milly Dowler, the missing teenager whose phone was hacked by the News of the World.

He also represented another phone hacking victim, PFA head Gordon Taylor, in his $1m settlement from News International.

News Corporation tabloid News of the World (NoW) closed in July 2011 after mounting evidence of phone hacking. At least 50 claims against NoW have now been settled and the case has brought work for Bindmans, Mishcon de Reya, Steel & Shamash, Atkins Thomson and Berwin Leighton Paisner, among others.

Legal discussions should begin next week in New York.