Unsettling times for News Group

The Rolls Building will later today host the parties in the ongoing phone-hacking cases for a pre-trial hearing.

This is a widely anticipated trial, with many media lawyers expecting it to be a crucial point in the build up to the expected full trial next month (see blog).

There is still time for News of the World (NoW) owner News Group Newspapers (NGN) to try to settle the claims, an option that will guarantee it some arguably undeserved privacy over the tactics allegedly used in the newsroom.

The publishing group is keen to find a way out of the legal maze it has found itself in and has been busy hiring lawyers to help it. Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance and Linklaters have all got partners involved in the case.

Money, it seems, is no issue and if it has enough money to throw at lawyers then it has enough money to offer settlements. The question now is whether the claimants will accept it.