News Group ordered to pay Glenn Mulcaire’s legal fees

News Group Newspapers (NGN) will have to continue paying the legal fees of private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, the High Court has ruled.

In a judgment handed down today, the Chancellor of the High Court, Sir Andrew Merritt, said NGN, the publishers of the News of the World, had entered into an indemnity contract with Mulcaire to pay his legal fees in phone hacking litigation.

Merritt decided the contract was still valid, and said there was no conflict of interest between NGN and Mulcaire in phone hacking claims  where they were joint defendants.

“They are, as they always were, in it together,” he said.

The judgment shows that up until July 2011, when NGN said it would stop paying Mulcaire’s fees, costs had amounted to £269,305.70. A further £95,531.24 had been billed but not paid.

Mulcaire’s lawyer, Sarah Webb of Payne Hicks Beach, instructed 39 Essex Street’s Ben Williams on the fight.

NGN turned to Allen & Overy partner Mark Mansell, who instructed One Essex Court’s Alain Choo Choy QC.

Mulcaire was joined to a series of claims relating to the phone hacking scandal as second defendant in 2010, after being jailed for six months in 2007 for intercepting messages on royal aides’ phones.