Information for victims
If you have been contacted by the Metropolitan Police and informed that you are the probable victim of phone hacking by either NGN or MGN you should consider instructing a firm of solicitors to advise you on whether or not you have a claim against NGN, MGN or both. Atkins Thomson is one of the main firms to have brought phone hacking claims against these organisations in the last 5 years and has considerable experience in phone hacking claims. You may have been contacted following investigations by Operation Weeting or Operation Golding.
Once you have instructed a law firm, the first stage is to obtain any documentary evidence which the Metropolitan Police possess, which relates to you as this will be the gateway to your claim. This process has been streamlined and there are Court orders in place which allow you to obtain this information, subject to the provision of certain information, without you having to go to Court.
In addition to the disclosure, your solicitors will need to consider what articles, if any, were published about you or those close to you at the time, which might be the product of phone hacking.
Once this information has been obtained, your solicitors will be able to form an initial view about the merits of your claim.
Given the number of victims involved, the Court has directed that all phone hacking claims are dealt with by the same Judge (Mr Justice Mann) and that the claims are managed and coordinated.
Until recently, the litigation against NGN was run by Atkins Thomson, with Mark Thomson as Lead Solicitor. Mark Thomson oversaw the resolution of hundreds of claim and through his coordinating role he was able to save costs and ensure that the claimants had a united approach. Now that the majority of cases have settled, and more are settling without the issuing of proceedings, it has been agreed that there should no longer be a Lead Solicitor to run the litigation and that claims should still be coordinated but through liaison between the firms still involved.
By contrast, the litigation against MGN Limited still has an active Lead Solicitor, which is James Heath of Atkins Thomson. As a result, individuals bringing claims against MGN Limited need to enter into a Cost Sharing Agreement with the other claimants and need to agree to James Heath representing them in this capacity. Wave 1 of the litigation culminated in the trial of 8 representative claims. Wave 2 is just starting and likely to be considerably larger than the 1st Wave.
A number of relevant orders have been made by the Court, which are available on this website on the page entitled Public Documents, along with any public Group Registers.