News International scandal not over yet for NI lawyers

The phone-hacking scandal came to a dramatic conclusion last month with Andy Coulson jailed for 18 months over conspiracy to hack phones. 

But for an ex-Harbottle & Lewis partner and former News International in-house counsel Jonathan Chapman, a new battle is brewing.

Former Harbottles partner Lawrence Abramson, hired by the paper to investigate allegations against former royal editor Clive Goodman, and in-houser Chapman will face a Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal hearing in October.

It’s been three years in the making – MP Tom Watson referred the two to the SRA in 2011. He alleged they had seen emails in the course of their investigation into Goodman proving widespread criminality at the paper.

Chapman and Abramson were later exonerated in a House of Commons Culture Media and Sport select committee report.

The duo have both instructed solicitors and silks, with Doughty Street’s Joel Bennathan QC for Chapman and Matrix Chambers’ Matthew Ryder QC for Abramson preparing to fight this latest stage in the phone hacking saga. We’ll keep you updated.

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