The Times They Are A-Blamin’

Being told that your behaviour has appalled even Rupert Murdoch must be one of the most singularly unnerving experiences imaginable – second only to being told you hold sexist views by the Daily Mail.

Rupert Murdoch
Rupert Murdoch

Nonetheless that is exactly situation one lawyer who worked for The Times is now facing (see story).

The incident that provoked Murdoch’s ire was the NightJack furore – where a piece in The Times revealed the identity of an anonymous police blogger – and the subsequent allegations that the Times’ lawyer misled the High Court at an injunction hearing about the story (for background, check out David Allen Green’s take on it in our own blogs section).

Murdoch made the comments in his written submission to the Leveson Inquiry, adding that he believed News International had referred the lawyer in question to the Solicitors Regulation Authority. The company has also apparently reviewed and issued guidance to all in-house lawyers following the NightJack story.

The lawyer that the NewsCorp boss is understood to be referring to is the paper’s former legal chief Alastair Brett, who left the publication in 2010.

This isn’t the first time that News International has put blame on its lawyers. Harbottle & Lewis was forced to defend itself after Murdoch cast aspersions on its role in investigating phone-hacking at the News of the World (16 August 2011).

Nothing like client loyalty, eh?