The apology issued by the News of the World over allegations of illegal phone hacking could lead to a deluge of new claims from celebrities and politicians, leading UK media lawyers have warned.
News International has apologised to eight of the News of the World phone-hacking litigants for intercepting their voicemails and there a further 16 ongoing phone-hacking civil legal actions facing the paper. It is understood that a £15m compensation fund has been set up to settle claims which are deemed to have merit.
While the apology and compensation offer has been seen as an attempt to draw a line under the scandal, lawyers contacted by the Press Gazette believe this is unlikely. Finers Stephens Innocent's Mark Stephens, whose clients include Wikileaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange, has been approached by several high-profile figures likely to pursue claims against the News of the World.