News International replaces Olswang with Linklaters on all phone-hacking claims

Linklaters has replaced Olswang as instructed advisers to News International on all outstanding phone-hacking claims.

It is not clear when the official switch came as Linklaters drove settlement talks with phone-hacking victims earlier this year. Those talks, led by partner Christa Band and 11 South Square’s Michael Silverleaf QC, were held at Olswang’s London office (19 January 2012).

Olswang officially replaced Farrer & Co as advisers to News International in October (17 October 2011). This was understood to be the first time News International had turned to Olswang for advice.

The firm’s appointment last July came as a shock because Olswang traditionally advised The Guardian, the newspaper that has driven the phone-hacking story up the public agenda (5 July 2011). Senior partner Mark Devereux and media partner Dan Tench were drafted in to advise the publisher on an internal review of its practices, while also dealing with some of the outstanding claims.

The newspaper group also took secondees from Allen & Overy in the aftermath of the scandal (16 September 2011). Clifford Chance, meanwhile, was appointed to advise News International chairman James Murdoch, who stood down last month.