Revealed: the widening web of litigation in press scandal

As Met police inquiry grows, number of people bringing legal action reaches 115

Lawyers have said they are fighting or preparing cases on behalf of 115 public figures who suspect, claim or have been officially informed that their mobile phones were hacked by people working for the News of the World, The Independent can reveal today.

[Mapping out a media storm (large graphic) - click here for a 3mb pdf]

In an intensification of legal action, 70 high-profile individuals have demanded police disclose any evidence the Sunday tabloid intercepted their private messages, while 45 have launched or are intending to launch civil proceedings against its owner News International for alleged breach of privacy.

The cases – which include 12 actions already brought by public figures before the High Court – come amid a widening of the police operation into suspected hacking by a private investigator working for the News of the World (NotW).

In the past week detectives heading a new Scotland Yard inquiry have informed people previously given the all-clear they may have been targeted by Glenn Mulcaire. He was jailed for six months and the NotW's Royal Editor Clive Goodman for four months in 2007 for accessing hundreds of phone messages left on the phones of aides to Princes William and Harry.

However, police brought no further prosecutions, despite finding Mr Mulcaire in possession of 4,332 names or partial names of people, 2,978 mobile phone numbers and 91 PIN codes changed from default settings.

As a result, figures from showbusiness, politics and sport have been contacting lawyers seeking to establish whether they were hacked and whether they can obtain redress from Britain's biggest newspaper group.

The cases could prove highly expensive to Rupert Murdoch's media empire, given that NotW settled three actions for around £1.5m, including a reported £1m payment to the publicist Max Clifford and £700,000 to Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers Association.

They also threaten to cause News International months of bad publicity as Mr Murdoch seeks Government approval for a £7.8bn takeover bid for the country's largest commercial broadcaster, BSkyB.

Charlotte Harris, a media lawyer recruited by Mishcon de Reya in London, has told The Independent that she has sought information from police on behalf of 30 clients, including Leslie Ash and her husband Lee Chapman, 15 of which she expects to "take forward." John Kelly, a litigation expert at Schillings in London – who represents comedian Steve Coogan and former footballer Andy Gray – has made 20 requests to police for information.

Graham Shear, a partner at Berwin Leighton Paisner, has not issued proceedings but is preparing eight civil actions against News International (NI). He said: "I think I will probably end up with more than 10 cases that will be run and look like viable actions."

Mark Lewis, who obtained Mr Taylor's settlement and who is fighting a case for his former deputy Mick McGuire, has sent letters of action to NI on behalf of the TV presenter Chris Tarrant and jockey Kieren Fallon, and has asked police for evidence on six individuals including the former England manager Sven Goran Eriksson.

Mr Lewis is personally suing the Metropolitan Police over its questioning of his evidence to MPs that a policeman had told him that "something like 6,000 people" had their messages intercepted or messages hacked.

He told The Independent: "It's important to remember that the number of victims [so far] relates to a police inquiry about one newspaper between 2005 and 2006. In reality this has been going on for much longer and in many newspapers. The number of victims must be in the tens of thousands."

In a planned judicial review, lawyer Tamsin Allen is arguing the Metropolitan Police's failure to give evidence about hacking to four claimaints including John Prescott breached their human rights. She said: "I have another 10 or so who have sought information from police, and around 6 to 10 who are considering privacy claims against News International."

Gerald Shamash, of Steel & Shamash, is taking action on behalf of Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair's former spokesman and ex-England footballer Paul Gascoigne.

News International declined to comment on the cases, but said: "News International has made it very clear that if we find or are presented with evidence of wrongdoing we will act, as evidenced by recent events."

[Mapping out a media storm (large graphic) - click here for a 3mb pdf]

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
Australia vs New Zealand live
cricket Follow over-by-over coverage as rivals New Zealand and Australia face off
News
Zayn has become the first member to leave One Direction. 'I have to do what feels right in my heart,' he said
peopleWe wince at anguish of fans, but his 1D departure shows the perils of fame in the social media age
Life and Style
Researchers found that just 10 one-minute swill-and-spit sessions are enough to soften tooth enamel and make teeth vulnerable to erosion
health
News
i100
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
The Regent Street Cinema’s projection room in the 1920s
film
News
Leah Devine is only the ninth female to have made the Young Magician of the Year final since the contest began more than 50 years
peopleMeet the 16-year-old who has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year
News
Jonathan Anderson was born in Northern Ireland but now based between London, where he presents a line named JW Anderson
peopleBritish designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
News
Andy Davidhazy at the beginning (left) and end (right) of his hike
video
News
Taylor Swift is applying to trademark song lyrics from 1989
people
Voices
The popularity of TV shows such as The Liver Birds encouraged Liverpudlians to exaggerate their Scouse accent
voicesWe exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing