American lawyers are set to launch action against News Corporation over the News of the World phone-hacking scandal.
Proceedings will be lodged in New York next week in a bid to seek statements from the media giant, according to Mark Lewis, the lawyer for the family of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler.
Mr Lewis, who negotiated a multimillion-pound payout for the Dowler family from News International over hacking claims, said its parent company could also be held responsible for activities at the paper.
"Potentially it has very serious ramifications for News Corporation because the American damages for civil claims are far higher than anything in an English court," Mr Lewis said.
Mr Lewis, of Taylor Hampton, is understood to have instructed Norman Siegel, a New York-based lawyer who represents about 20 families of 9/11 victims.
"The action will be looking at News Corp's liability for action as far as its subsidiaries," Mr Lewis added. "It will raise issues of corporate governance."
The announcement comes days after News International confirmed it was in advanced settlement talks with the parents of Milly over police claims that the 13-year-old's mobile phone was hacked after she went missing.
A total package of around £3 million is being finalised, including a £1 million donation from Rupert Murdoch to charity.
So far 16 people have been arrested on suspicion of phone hacking at the axed tabloid.