News International Compensation Scheme offers hacking victims anonymity, a 10% uplift and pays all their legal costs
16th April 2012
By Marvin Simons, Head of Dispute Resolution
The News Group Newspapers (“NGN”) Voicemail Interception Compensation Scheme (“the Scheme”) is available to individuals, their employees or agents, who believe their voicemails may have been intercepted by the News of the World.
Retired High Court judge, Sir Charles Grey, has been appointed to decide the cases brought by victims of phone hacking against NGN.
Where an application is accepted, the applicant will receive an offer letter setting out the basis on which the applicant may join the Scheme. Most claims are settled swiftly, within a couple of weeks.
Where an application is rejected, NGN are to provide reasons. The adjudicator can also request NGN re-consider an application if he believes it to be covered by the Scheme.
There are several advantages of applying to join the Scheme rather than going through the court.
obtains quicker access to justice, avoiding the delays and complexity of the court process;
obtains disclosure of documents from NGN before having to serve his particulars of case;
has the option of the application and adjudication being kept confidential;
receives payment of his legal costs, win or lose;
bears no risk of having to pay adverse legal costs; and
receives a 10% uplift on damages received through the adjudication.
If an application is not admitted into the scheme, the applicant will bear their costs of the initial stage.
The Scheme operates as a binding arbitration agreement and once the applicant agrees to join, he is bound by the decision.
Once a claim is accepted, the decision of the arbitrator is final and there is no option of appeal.
If liability is established by the adjudicator, he will assess applications, having regard to previous decisions of the courts and according to generally accepted principles established by the courts. These include:
the extent of intrusion suffered;
the effect of the intrusion on the applicant; and
any steps taken by the News of the World to mitigate the damage caused.
For more information on phone hacking claims, please contact Marvin Simons on firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dispute Resolution
- Commercial Disputes