Mulcaire wins his costs fight (unlike Coulson)

 

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The Independent Online

Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator who hacked voicemails for the News of the World, won a significant legal victory yesterday when the High Court ruled his old employer must continue paying his legal fees.

The judgment in favour of Mr Mulcaire, who is a co-defendant with Rupert Murdoch's News International in about 70 civil damages claims, was delivered on the same day that Andy Coulson, bottom, the former editor of the NOTW, lost his own claim that the firm should cover his legal costs for any criminal proceedings arising from the hacking scandal.

Mr Mulcaire, top, signed an agreement with News Group Newspapers, the publisher of the NOTW, after his imprisonment in 2007 for accessing voicemails. The deal, signed in 2010, included an undertaking to indemnify the private investigator for his legal fees in civil damages claims by hacking victims. But the agreement was withdrawn in July this year after Mr Murdoch and his son, James, said the payments would stop as long as it did not breach a legal contract.

Sir Andrew Morritt, Chancellor of the High Court, said NGN had breached that contract and was liable for fees paid by Mr Mulcaire, who is a co-defendant in the hacking test cases to be heard in February.

Separately, the High Court rejected Mr Coulson's claim that a severance agreement signed when he resigned as NOTW editor in 2007 entitled him to the payment of his costs in defending alleged criminal conduct.