News Group’s no nonsense settlements

Like Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky, News Group Newspapers, owner of the now defunct News of the World, has created a legal market all of its own.

Last week The Lawyer revealed that Linklaters partner Christa Band and 11 South Square’s Michael Silverleaf QC had been responsible for driving settlement talks for the newspaper group, which is being sued over phone-hacking allegations (19 January 2012).

Talks had been held at Olswang’s swanky Holborn offices out of the way of prying eyes, but it is understood that partner Dan Tench, who was originally instructed to advise on the claims (7 July 2011), was not involved in the settlement discussions.

Maybe it will come as no surprise that the same firm that drove the settlement negotiations last summer won the mandate for advising the board of NGN’s parent company, News Corp (21 July 2011).

The negotiations are clearly being closely followed by the News International management team.
Yet the flames have not been entirely extinguished yet. Comedian Steve Coogan has steadfastly refused to settle, wanting his day in court. Aha.