Mulcaire to take phone-hacking appeal to Supreme Court

Private investigator Glenn Mulcaire is heading to the Supreme Court in a last-ditch attempt to protect the identity of the person who instructed him to intercept voicemails for the News of the World (NoW).

Mulcaire has been granted permission to appeal the Court of Appeal’s (CoA) decision (1 February 2012) to uphold a High Court order that he should disclose who at NoW owners News Group Newspapers (NGN) instructed him. The case was originally brought by Nicola Phillips, a PR consultant working with publicist Max Clifford, and at CoA stage Phillips’s case was joined to the appeal brought by comedian Steve Coogan.

Coogan has since settled with NGN, but the case brought by Phillips continues.

The investigator is represented in all the civil proceedings brought against him in relation to phone hacking by Payne Hicks Beach partner Sarah Webb. Doughty Street Chambers’ Gavin Millar QC was instructed to lead 5RB’s Alexandra Marzec on the Coogan case.

In the CoA Millar argued that Mulcaire should be able to rely on privilege against self incrimination (PSI). The use of PSI is restricted in certain cases by Section 72 of the Senior Courts Act 1981.

However, the appellate judges, Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge, Master of the Rolls Lord Neuberger and the vice-president of the CoA Lord Justice Maurice Kay, rejected Millar’s arguments that section 72 should not apply in this case. The panel also rejected Millar’s case that the section was incompatible with Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights, and upheld earlier judgments by Mr Justice Vos and Mr Justice Mann.

In the CoA, Schillings partner John Kelly acted for Coogan, instructing Hogarth Chambers’ Jeremy Reed. Reed was also instructed for Phillips by Taylor Hampton partner Mark Lewis.