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					                                                                           CLAIM NO. HC10C01363
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
CHANCERY DIVISION

BET W EE N: -

                                       SKYLET ANDREW
                                                                              Claimant / Applicant


                                               and



                         (1) NEWS GROUP NEWSPAPERS LIMITED

                                 (2) GLENN MICHAEL MULCAIRE
                                                                                      Defendants

                                               and



                    COMMISSIONER OF POLICE FOR THE METROPOLIS
                                                                                     Respondent




                            CLAIMANT’S SKELETON ARGUMENT
                                                         th
                         (Directions Hearing on Friday 18 February
                                            2011)



Time estimate:         Pre-reading     20 - 30 minutes


                       Hearing         20 minutes


The application

1.   This is a „phone hacking‟ claim. Pursuant to the order of Vos J., the Metropolitan Po lice
     have disclosed various heavily redacted documents.

2.   It is necessary to give a little background so that the court is sufficiently informed when
     considering what directions will be appropriate for the substantive hearing of the
     application.

3.   The police disclosure, broadly speaking, falls into two categories:

     3.1.   Telephone call data logs that the police obtained from telephone companies in the
            course of the same investigation [Bundle A, Tab 14, p.197-118]; and


                                                1
                                                                           nd
      3.2.   Documents that the police seized from Mr Mulcaire (the 2           Defendant) [Bundle A,
             Tab 14, p.119 to 128].

4.    Having received and spent some time analysing that disclosure, the Claimant asked the
      police some questions about the redactions, asked to see the documents without the
      redactions, and asked for further disclosure [see Bundle A, Tab 17, p.141 to 150].

5.    The police‟s response was not particularly informative or, as far as the Claimant is
      concerned, satisfactory.

6.    Accordingly, the Claimant issued the present application.

7.    There has been a publicly-announced change of heart by the police relatively recently. The
      Metropolitan Police announced that the (now fairly old) evidence would be reviewed, along
      with new email evidence recently provided to them by NGN, the 1 st Defendant. This is
      known as “Operation Weeting”, and is headed by Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue
      Akers QPM.

8.    The police recently invited the Claimant for a meeting at Scotland Yard, but this was not
      very satisfactory from the Claimant‟s perspective. The Claimant and his solicitors in this
      claim were permitted to inspect some documents in partially unredacted form, but only on
      condition that they did not take any notes whatsoever, and would not use what they saw in
      civil proceedings.    Thus I am not, unfortunately, able to give the court any further
      assistance on this at present. It is suggested that this is rather unsatisfactory, but is caused
      entirely by the stance of the Metropolitan Police.

Live issues on the claim

9.    Mr Mulcaire was charged with intercepting the Claimant‟s voicemails, and he pleade d
      guilty. Mr Mulcaire makes the same admission in this claim.

10.   That said, what the Claimant does not know is the full extent of Mr Mulcaire‟s activities.
      This will be relevant to quantum. The matter has been listed for a combined trial of liability
      and quantum.

11.   The second key issue is NGN‟s liability (and also quantum). NGN‟s current stance is to
      make a non-admission in respect of the primary allegation of liability.          Mr Mulcaire‟s
      counsel, at the sentencing hearing, said that he was intercepting the Cla imant‟s voicemails
      for persons at NGN (other than Mr Goodman, the former Royal editor of the News of the
      World). But in its Defence, NGN again makes a non-admission.

12.   Matters have moved on slightly in that Mr Mulciare, pursuant to the Claimant‟s Part 18
      Request, has stated that Mr Ian Edmondson, NGN‟s then News Editor, who has recently
                                                  2
      been sacked, instructed Mr Mulcaire to intercept the Claimant‟s voicemails [Bundle A, Tab
      12, p.88, Reply 1.6].

13.   Mr Mulcaire was also asked to say who he provided the voicemail intercepts to.              Mr
      Mulcaire is remarkable, and merits reading in full [Bundle A, Tab 12, p.87, Reply 1.1.3]:

                “Information was supplied to the news desk at News of the World. This was
                manned by different people, the Second Defendant cannot now re -call who in
                respect of this claimant he passed the information to.”

14.   This mantra is repeated by Mr Mulcaire in Replies 1.3.3 and 1.5 (Tab 12, p.88).

15.   On the basis of these Part 18 Responses (provided pursuant to the Order of Vos J. [Bundle
      A, Tab 11], and signed personally by Mr Mulcaire) that Mr Ian Edmondson requested Mr
      Mulcaire to intercept the Claimant‟s voicemail messages, but that Mr Mulcaire can only say
      that he gave the intercept information to people on the News of the World New Desk. He
      does not even say that he gave it to Mr Edmondson – he says he can‟t remember!

16.   This Part 18 Response was signed and served on 17th January 2011.

17.   Despite it being served a month ago, it is noteworthy that NGN has not made any
      admissions whatsoever in this claim. They have not sought to amend their defence to
      admit that Mr Edmondson requested Mr Mulcaire to intercept the Claimant‟s voicemail, and
      they have not admitted that the information was supplied to the News of the World news
      desk.

                                                                                                   th
18.   No disclosure has been given by NGN of this. (NGN gave standard disclosure on 18
      October 2010, and is, of course, subject to a duty of ongoing disclosure.) NGN has not
      disclosed any electronic documents whatsoever, and no emails to or from Mr Edmondson
      whatsoever. Their disclosure statement says that they did not search:

                “Documents contained on or created by the First Defendant‟s PCs, portable data
                storage media, databases, servers, backup tapes, offsite storage, mobile phones,
                laptops, notebooks, handheld devices, PDA devices.”

19.   This is a very wide exclusion. It means that NGN‟s disclosure excludes documents that
      were created on computers, it also excludes documents that are stored on computers.
      Thus if, for example, all journalists notepads are stored in electronic archives rather than in
      hard-copy, these would be “contained” on computers and thus be excluded from the
      present disclosure.

20.   NGN‟s present disclosure does not contain any journalists notes whatsoever, and contains
      no call data logs from NGN.
                                                 3
21.   This is not, however, a disclosure application against NGN. Nonetheless, it is important for
      the court to appreciate the relevance of the disclosure sought from the police in the
      absence of any such disclosure (at present) from NGN.

22.   Thus, perhaps surprisingly, the liability of NGN is a live issue. In any event, the extent of
      NGN‟s involvement in the phone hacking activities is in issue, and this will go to both
      liability and quantum.

Proposed directions

23.   There appear to be three issues that need to be considered in relation to the dire ctions:

      23.1. Evidence;

      23.2. Time estimate;

      23.3. Allocation of judicial resources and costs.

      (i) Evidence

24.   As far as the evidence is concerned, the Claimant relies upon two witness statements of
      Charlotte Harris, the Claimant‟s solicitor. Those statements exhibit a number of documents
      that will be relevant to the application, and that the Judge hearing the application will,
      ideally, need to pre-read.

25.   The police have indicated they do wish to put in evidence, but unfortunately they have not
      yet indicated how long they will need for to prepare and serve that evidence. The police
      have known the Claimant‟s position for some time; this was set out in the substantive letter
      sent by the Claimant. Thus they should not need very long to complete this exercise. The
      Claimant proposes that it be served by 4pm next Wednesday, 23 rd February 2011.

26.   Both NGN and Mr Mulcaire have been served with this application, although they are not
      Respondents to the application in the sense that all the orders sought are directed at the
      police.

27.   Neither NGN nor Mr Mulcaire has told the Claimant what their position is on this application.
      This is most unhelpful. Thus, at the time of writing this skeleton, the Claimant does not
      know whether the application is supported by NGN or Mr Mulcaire, opposed by NGN or
      Mulcaire, of whether they take a neutral stance.

28.   In those circumstances it is rather difficult for the Claimant to propose directions that deal
      with NGN and Mr Mulcaire (such as whether they wish to file evidence, and if so, how much
      time they need).


                                                 4
29.   It is respectfully suggested that NGN and Mr Mulcaire should set out their position on the
      application as a matter of urgency, as this impacts on the directions.

30.   Doing the best one can, it is suggested that any evidence to be served by NGN or Mr
      Mulcaire be filed and served by 4pm on Wednesday 23 rd February 2011, the same date
      suggested for the police‟s evidence.

      (ii) Time estimate for pre-reading and for oral submissions

31.   The Claimant, at the time of the application, gave a time estimate of 3 hours. It was plainly
      going to exceed the 2 hour limit. The police have subsequently suggested that the oral
      hearing is likely to take one day. On the footing that the police are going to be opposing the
      application in its entirety, this estimate is not unrealistic. The Claimant is content to agree
      an estimated time for oral hearing of 1 day, subject to the points made below.

32.   In addition, there is likely to be a number of documents that it would be useful for the judge
      to have pre-read.    Whilst it is not known ho w much evidence the police will file, it is
      suggested that there might be ½ day of pre-reading.

33.   The caveat to these estimates is that the Claimant, unfortunately, has not received any
      indication of the stance of NGN and Mr Mulcaire. If they both oppose the application then
      there is potentially going to be 2 more sets of evidence for the judge to pre-read, and 2
      more counsel to hear at the hearing. The time needed to deal with those submissions is
      bound to depend on the positions they adopt, and indeed whe ther NGN‟s position is the
      same as Mr Mulcaire‟s position.

34.   The Claimant is not able to second-guess what their stance is. All that can be said is that
      NGN consented for the original order for disclosure from the police, and that Mr Mulcaire
      took a neutral stance. All that can be said is that the pre-reading estimate might increase,
      and the estimated length of the oral hearing might increase. It is appreciated that this does
      not really assist the court on a directions hearing, but the Claimant is unable to assist
      further in the absence of any indication from either Defendant.

      (iii) Allocation of judicial resources / Costs

35.   Mr Justice Mann is respectfully invited to give consideration to reserving this application to
      himself.

36.   This suggestion is made for the following reasons:

      36.1. Mr Justice Mann is one of the Chancery Division judges who has already spent
             some time reading the background material, in particular in the claim of Nicola
             Phillips v. NGN and Mulcaire.       There is a considerable overlap between that
                                                 5
             material, and the evidence on this application, in particular the submissions made to
             Gross J. at the sentencing hearing.            Thus there would be a saving of judicial
             resources in terms of the pre-reading, and quite possibly the length of the oral
             hearing. This would be an efficient use of judicial resources, and a shorter hearing
             will keep the costs down.

      36.2. It is understood that, having made inquiries to listing (albeit now over a week ago),
             there was potential availability for Mr Justice Mann in late February / early March.

37.   However, the Claimant recognises that this is pre-eminently a matter for the Judge, and
      simply floats the point for judicial consideration.



17t h February 2011
                                                                                      Jere my Reed

                                                                           Counsel for the Claimant

                                               Hogarth Chambers, 5 New Square, Lincoln‟s Inn
                                                                         London WC2A 3RJ

                                                                      jreed@hogarthchambers.com
                                                                              T el: 020 7404 0404




                                                   6
                              CLAIM NO. HC10C01363

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
CHANCERY DIVISION

B E TW E E N: -


                 SKYLET ANDREW
                           Claimant / Applicant


                          and



    (1) NEWS GROUP NEWSPAP ERS LIMITED

         (2) GLENN MICHAEL MULCAIRE
                                 Defendants

                          and



      COMMISSIONER OF POLI CE FOR THE
               METROPOLIS
                                Respondent




       CLAIMANT’S SKELETON ARGUMENT




JMW Solicitors LLP
1 Byrom Place
Spinningfields
Manchester M3 3HG
Tel: 0845 872 6666
Fax: 0161 828 1827
Solicitors for the Claimant

				
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