Andy Coulson turns to DLA Piper to fight perjury charges

DLA Piper partner Jo Rickards will represent former News of the World (NoW) editor Andy Coulson in his bid to “vigorously contend” perjury charges relating to the Tommy Sheridan trial.

Andy Coulson
Andy Coulson

Coulson was formally charged by Strathclyde Police on Wednesday evening over evidence he gave in Sheridan’s 2010 perjury trial, the longest-running case of its type in Scottish legal history.

Sheridan, who is currently pursuing a phone-hacking claim against NoW publisher News International, was jailed for three years after being found guilty of perjury during a 2006 defamation claim against the now defunct tabloid newspaper. 

Coulson gave evidence at Sheridan’s perjury trial, when he denied that he had been involved in or was aware of any illegal phone-hacking activities at the tabloid.

In June 2011, following his resignation as Prime Minister David Cameron’s director of communications, Coulson was arrested in London in connection to the hacking scandal but was released on bail.

Rickards, who joined DLA Piper in February 2010 from Peters & Peters (15 February 2010), was originally instructed by Coulson to act in his legal fees battle against News Group Newspapers (NGN).

In December, the High Court rejected Coulson’s claim that NGN had agreed to pay any legal costs relating to “any administrative, regulatory, judicial or quasi-judicial proceedings” relating to his editorship at NoW.  

That case is now set to go to the Court of Appeal in November, with Rickards instructing Matrix Chambers’ James Laddie QC.

It is not known whether counsel has been instructed in the perjury trial.