find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Murdoch blames lawyers on phone hacking scandal

Murdoch blames lawyers on phone hacking scandal

News Corp head Rupert Murdoch has alleged that one of his group's lawyers made a "major mistake" in its role in the newspaper business' internal investigation into phone hacking.

NEWS Corp head Rupert Murdoch has alleged that one of his group's lawyers made a "major mistake" in its role in the newspaper business' internal investigation into phone hacking. 

Murdoch made the comments in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, published Friday. He cited a "major mistake" on London law firm Harbottle & Lewis' part in an investigation carried out four years ago into the scale of phone hacking at Murdoch's UK newspaper arm. 

Murdoch said the law firm had underestimated the scope of the phone hacking problem. 

Harbottle & Lewis's managing partner, Glen Atchinson, was unwilling to comment on the comments, and said "it is not our usual practice to comment on our clients' affairs or advice which we may or may not have provided". 

According to the report, Murdoch was criticising Harbottle for its role in reviewing a number of emails from staff at the Sunday tabloid of News of the World NoW) in 2007. The investigation was aimed at assessing whether phone hacking extended beyond the newspaper's royal editor Clive Goodman, who was that year handed a criminal sentence. News International said at the time that Goodman acted alone. 

Harbottle former managing partner Lawrence Abramson wrote a letter to News International in 2007 saying they "did not find anything in this emails which appeared to us to be reasonable evidence that Clive Goodman's illegal actions were know about and supported by both or either of Andy Coulson, the newspaper's editor, and Neil Wallis, the deputy editor, and/or that Ian Edmondson, the news editor, and others were carrying out similar illegal procedures."

Murdoch's comments follow reports last week by the BBC and a number of other news publications that raised questions about the law firm's role in reviewing the documents. A Legal Week this week reports, a number of press reports have indicated that News International executives concluded that a cache of internal emails reviewed earlier this year did indicate phone hacking went further than Goodman. 

It is unclear, however, whether Harbottle had reviewed all these emails. 

Allen & Overy was also briefly drawn into the phone-hacking saga on 11 July, after allegations emerged that the law firm had been tricked by a prominent newspaper into disclosing information about a flat acquired by former prime minister Gordon Brown in 1992, US magazine Legal Week reports. 

Know more? Email the editor at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Murdoch blames lawyers on phone hacking scandal
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Oct 20 2017
Podcast: One of law’s most infamous alumni – in conversation with Julian Morrow
In this episode of The Lawyers Weekly Show, Melissa Coade is joined by The Chaser’s Julian Morrow....
Oct 20 2017
High Court overturns ‘excessive’ anti-protest legislation
Bob Brown’s recent victory in the High Court over the Tasmanian government was a win for fundament...
Oct 20 2017
Changes to Australian citizenship laws blocked
Attempts to beef up the requirements to obtain Australian citizenship were thwarted this week, after...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...