There were few lawyers more likely to receive celebrity endorsement in 2012 than Atkins Thomson partner Mark Thomson, who found himself at the heart of one of the biggest stories of the year – the phone hacking scandal and its legal fallout.
The year began with him coordinating the first tranche of phone hacking claims to hit the High Court, 55 in total, 15 of which were Thomson’s own clients, including Jude Law, Gavin Henson, Sadie Frost and Simon Hughes MP. Those claims were settled before trial.
Thomson, who gave evidence before the Leveson Inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press, has also been appointed the lead solicitor for a second tranche of 160 claims for trial before Mr Justice Vos in February 2013. Twenty of those actions are Thomson’s own clients, including presenter Jamie Theakston and cleared murder suspect Colin Stagg.
Speaking about his and other lawyers’ motivations for taking on the claims, he says: “All of us felt that a huge wrong had taken place and that all our clients had been deeply affected by it. We needed to find out what had gone on and to do something about it as the police were doing very little. It was tough and our clients were brave in taking on the might of News Group Newspapers.”
Thomson is also acting on a number of libel and privacy actions, including proceedings issued by Prince Albert and Princess Charlene of Monaco against the Sunday Times and proceedings to prevent media harassment of Tinglan Hong, the mother of Hugh Grant’s daughter.