London law firms Bindmans and Collyer Bristow have announced that they are seeking judicial review of the Metropolitan Police Service's refusal to release information to potential victims of the Andy Coulson / News of the World phone-tapping scandal.
The firms are pursuing the claim on behalf of several high-profile clients, including the former deputy prime minister John Prescott, Chris Bryant MP, former Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Brian Paddick, and writer/journalist Brendan Montague.
Tamsin Allen, a partner at Bindmans, said: "The purpose of this claim is to hold the Metropolitan Police to account for the failings in the investigation of the phone-hacking scandal and its decision not to tell victims about what had happened to them.
"Our clients and all the other victims expect a full explanation as to why a public authority should have withheld information and possibly misled the public."
Dominic Crossley, a partner at Collyer Bristow, added: "The police are failing in their obligations by refusing to provide the information to those victims who have asked for it.
"John Prescott and others are entitled to know exactly what went on and when and what they have.
"It would enable them to protect themselves in the future, to get the necessary records from the phone companies, and revealing the extent of these activities would discourage a culture by which such behaviour is regarded as acceptable in future."
Both Crossley and Allen have encouraged anyone who believes that they have been a target of Glenn Mulcaire -- the private investigator hired by the News of the World -- or his associates to contact them and consider joining the judicial review and/or pursuing other remedies that may be available to them.
Claims against the News of the World for breach of privacy are still pending, although two victims have already settled out of court -- publicist Max Clifford apparently received a £1m settlement and Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, £700,000.
- What the officer and the minister said about hacking ... and what they didn't (Guardian)
- Potential phone-hacking victims put alleged police failures in spotlight (Guardian)
- Tabloid hack attack on royals, and beyond (New York Times)
- Fundamental rights (Findlaw.co.uk)
- Legal Q&A (Community)
- Find solicitors (Contact Law)