Plot thickens as veteran lawyer quits News International

Tom Crone knows where many of the bodies are buried, and has been a remarkable Fleet Street lawyer

Tom Crone once remarked that doing legal work on the News of the World could feel like being on "a forward patrol in Helmand province" with "plenty of incoming, occasional hand-to-hand combat and a high risk of casualties". Yesterday he became the latest casualty of the meltdown at News International, resigning after 26 years in its legal department.

With the phone-hacking scandal raging in Parliament, Mr Crone walked out of the company headquarters in Wapping, east London, where he has stood at the shoulder of some of Britain's most famous tabloid editors, from Kelvin MacKenzie, David Yelland, Stuart Higgins and Rebekah Brooks of The Sun to Piers Morgan and Andy Coulson at the News of the World. Mr Crone follows close on the heels of NI's head of legal, Jon Chapman, who left last week.

A friend briefed that the lawyer was going with a "clear conscience", and had not been party to crucial emails that had only recently come to light. "He has still never seen these emails, but was made aware of their contents several weeks ago," said the friend.

Mr Crone gave evidence to MPs on phone hacking in 2009, and said then: "At no stage ... did any evidence arise that the problem of accessing by our reporters, or complicity of accessing by our reporters, went beyond the Goodman/Mulcaire situation." The lawyer also accompanied Ms Brooks when she let slip to MPs in 2003 that The Sun had paid police officers.

Mr Crone knows where many of Wapping's bodies are buried. With his lengthy blond hair, his fame has been boosted by numerous celebrity cases, including the News of the World's High Court defeat by Max Mosley. He claimed a success last year when the courts overturned a super-injunction brought by the former England captain John Terry.

Mr Crone, who also worked on defending a famous libel action brought by the wife of the Yorkshire Ripper, Sonia Sutcliffe, against the NOTW, enjoyed his greatest victory over Jeffrey Archer, overturning the former Tory MP's libel win 14 years earlier.

A personal friend of the late silk George Carman, what made him different from many counterparts was his instinct for journalism. "One of his great strengths was that he found ways of getting stories into the paper, rather than keeping them out," said one former editor. Mr Crone, a former captain of the Press Golf Society known for his dry humour, would attend the leaving parties of old hacks and be invited to celebrity bashes organised by Ms Brooks and other bosses. Those attempting to contact him yesterday were greeted with the poetic voicemail: "This is Crone, not on the phone, please leave a message, after the tone."

"Come-uppance is a brilliant word," he once wrote, in an article for The Sun on Jonathan Ross and "preening celebrity peacocks" who take legal action against newspapers. Some will think that Mr Crone has now had his. Others will see him as the latest Wapping victim of friendly fire.

people And here is why...
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
voicesBy the man who has
Arsene Wenger tried to sign Eden Hazard
footballAfter 18 years with Arsenal, here are 18 things he has still never done as the Gunners' manager
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson star in The Twilight Saga but will not be starring in the new Facebook mini-movies
tvKristen Stewart and Stephenie Meyer will choose female directrs
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
books(and not a Buzzfeed article in sight)
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedyFirst national survey reveals Britain’s comedic tastes
Arts and Entertainment
Twerking girls: Miley Cyrus's video for 'Wrecking Ball'
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Ed Sheeran performs at his Amazon Front Row event on Tuesday 30 September
musicHe spotted PM at private gig
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

SEO Executive

£24 - 28k: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Technical SEO Executive to join one ...

Research Analyst / Insight Analyst

£25k: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Research Analyst / Insight Analyst to joi...

RTB/ Programmatic Campaign Manager

35,000 - 50,000: Sphere Digital Recruitment: Our client is the world's largest...

Head of Marketing - Acquisition & Direct Reponse Marketing

£90000 - £135000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Marketing (B2C, Acquisition...

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?