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25 April 2017

Charles Russell Speechlys achieves settlement for celebrity clients from MGN Limited for phone hacking

Charles Russell Speechlys can today confirm the settlement of Privacy claims for unlawful voicemail interception commenced for three media industry clients against MGN limited, publisher of a number of well-known influential newspapers titles - The Daily Mirror, The Sunday Mirror and The People.

Television personalities Tina O’Brien, Ryan Thomas and Jimmi Harkishin claimed that their voicemail messages were hacked by MGN’s journalists and, as a result, their journalists would have been privy to both personal voicemails from friends and family on their phones, and messages they left for others.

The trio issued proceedings against MGN Limited in November 2016 and subsequently a settlement arrangement was agreed. The settlement includes a contractual undertaking by MGN not to intercept the Claimants’ voicemail messages, to pay compensation to the Claimants and join in a statement in open Court to apologise to the Claimants for the misuse of their private information.

Today, the Claimants’ counsel David Sherborne told the Court of the settlement reached and MGN publicly apologised to Ms O’Brien, Mr Thomas and Mr Harkishindas for the distress caused to them by the hacking of their voicemails. 

Duncan Lamont, Litigation and Dispute Resolution Consultant, and Claire Greaney, Litigation and Dispute Resolution Associate (New Zealand qualified), at Charles Russell Speechlys comment: “Everyone has the right to privacy and confidentiality. Violating that right was simply unacceptable. While our clients have a public profile, their private life is just that - private - and should be respected as such.

“We are pleased that we could assist our clients in resolving their disputes with MGN and that MGN has now offered a public apology to each of our clients for the distress caused to them by hacking into their voicemail messages, obtaining private information about them and using that information.”