Former Times lawyer challenges SDT suspension

Allegations of phone hacking put the spotlight on Rupert Murdoch’s UK media empire into the spotlight. While former News International legal chief Tom Crone entered a war of words with the media magnate, his former NI colleagues were busy hiring lawyers to defend criminal charges.

A few years on and former NI chief executive Rebekah Brooks has been cleared of any wrongdoing while News of the World (NotW) editor Andy Coulson has been handed a jail sentence. Coulson’s lawyer, meanwhile, has quit DLA Piper to join Brooks’ lawyer, Angus McBride, at Kingsley Napley.

While News International was fire fighting, The Times’ former legal chief Alastair Brett was busy defending allegations that he was involved in exposing the identity of the anonymous policeman behind the ‘NightJack’ blog.

After The Times paid out £42,500 to NightJack blogger Richard Horton, Brett was referred to the Solicitors’ Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT), which suspended him from practice for six months.

He was also told to hand over £30,000 in costs. But that isn’t the end of the road. Brett will appeal the penalty and the fine at the Court of Appeal.

The story rolls on.

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