Vos J to oversee claims relating to News of the World phone-hacking scandal

The Chancellor of the High Court Sir Andrew Morritt has assigned Mr Justice Vos to case manage claims relating to phone-hacking enquiries against the Metropolitan Police.

Mr Justice Vos
Mr Justice Vos

Lawyers representing more than a dozen MPs and high-profile figures wrote to Morritt requesting that he assign a judge to case manage the matters to help streamline the court process.

The Metropolitan Police is facing claims from several individuals who are seeking the release of police information relating to its investigation into phone-hacking at the News of the World (NoW).

The claims have not been joined together because of the differences between them, but lawyers representing the claimants suggested case management around the documentation is needed because the cases could be managed by a single judge.

One partner said: “Vos J is doing all the cases that are already out there. I’ve been up to the court so many times and it’s pointless when the same case management rules can be applied across the board even though the cases are being heard separately.”

The partners said claimant media lawyers from several firms banded together to write to the chancellor.

These included Schillings partner John Kelly, who is representing football pundit Andy Gray and comedian Steve Coogan; Mishcon de Reya partner Charlotte Harris, who is representing actress Leslie Ash and her husband Lee Chapman; and Atkins Thomson Solicitors partner Mark Thomson, who is representing actress Sienna Miller.

Former Bar Council chairman Vos J was appointed as a High Court judge in the Chancery division in October 2009.  In May last year he presided over one of the most controversial cases of the year when he heard the Chelsea Barracks dispute between the Candy Brothers and Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company.

Last year, Vos J was presented with the Editor’s Award at The Lawyer Awards for his work as a champion of social mobility (28 June 2010).

The claimant lawyers involved:

Bindmans Tamsin Allen representing 10 clients, including Chris Bryan MP

Mishcon de Reya partner Charlotte Harris (formerly JMW Solicitors), representing 30 clients, including Leslie Ash and Lee Chapman

Schillings partner John Kelly, representing football pundit Andy Gray and comedian Steve Coogan

Wiggin partner Caroline Kean representing  Football Association executive direct David Davies

Steel & Shamash named partner Gerald Shamash representing former director of communications for the Labour Party, Alastair Campbell

Taylor Hampton Solicitors partner Mark Lewis representing former England football manager Sven Goran Eriksson