News Corp shells out £3k an hour for Grabiner

One Essex Court’s Tony Grabiner QC is understood to be pocketing £3,000 an hour for his advice to News ­International parent News ­Corporation in relation to phone-hacking.

Tony Grabiner QC
Tony Grabiner QC

Grabiner was drafted in by the media giant last week to chair the management and standards committee (MSC) set up by News Corp to investigate the scandal (, 18 July).

Reporting to executive vice-president and News Corp board director Joel Klein, Grabiner will determine the group’s internal response to the scandal that has engulfed the News of the World owner.

“It shows just how seriously [News International] is taking this,” said a source. “Grabiner pulls no punches. He’ll be very thorough. It’s worth spending the money on someone like that.”

It is believed to be the first time Grabiner has worked for the news giant.

Widely perceived to be one of the country’s top silks, Grabiner is among a ­shrinking number of elite barristers who can command such weighty fees.

Brick Court Chambers’ Jonathan Sumption QC is believed to be in the same bracket, but when he joins the Supreme Court next year Grabiner will replace him as the country’s leading silk.

The phone-hacking saga has spawned a new market for the profession. Linklaters is the latest to add its name to the growing roster of firms advising News Corp, with partner John Turnbull instructed to advise the MSC.

One Essex Court and News International declined to comment.

#See page 4 for more on the phone-hacking advisers