Compensation Scheme Opens for Voicemail Victims

London – November 04, 2011 – Victims of voicemail interception by the News of the World (NotW) can apply for compensation in a new voluntary scheme from today (Friday, November 4).

Arbitration expert and former High Court judge Sir Charles Gray has agreed to act as the independent adjudicator for the scheme.

The Compensation Scheme has been set up by News International (NI) the parent company of News Group Newspapers (NGN) - publishers of the now defunct NotW - as a speedy, cost effective alternative to litigation.

A dedicated section on the NI website has been set up where victims can make applications www.newsint.co.uk/compensationscheme
This went live today.

Sir Charles will assess applications to ensure victims are properly compensated in a fair manner.

He said: "I am confident the scheme, which is now operational, will provide a fair, effective, and speedy means for determining compensation in these cases.

"It should provide very significant benefits to applicants such as avoiding the enormous expense of court proceedings. I look forward to adjudicating awards under the scheme, at all times safeguarding the fairness of the process and the rights of applicants."

Key elements of the Compensation Scheme include:

An uplift of 10% on whatever amount Sir Charles awards as an incentive to join the scheme
Payment of the applicant's reasonable legal costs
Confidentiality over victim identity from start to finish if requested
If you believe you have been a victim of voicemail interception by the NotW, or have been contacted by the Metropolitan Police Service to confirm you are a victim, please visit the website at www.newsint.co.uk/compensationscheme to apply.

The website includes an FAQ section which addresses a range of issues such as costs and timescales.

There will also be a link to the Compensation scheme website from the new Management and Standards Committee (MSC) section under the Corporate Governance section of the News Corporation website at http://www.newscorp.com/corp_gov/MSC.html

The MSC was established in July to take responsibility for all matters regarding phone hacking at the News of the World, alleged payments to police and other related issues at News International.

Notes to Editors:

  • The Compensation Scheme was announced in April 2011 by News International
  • In June, it was confirmed that Sir Charles would act as independent adjudicator for the scheme
  • Overall responsibility for the administration of the scheme now lies with the Management & Standards Committee (MSC) of News Corporation.
  • The MSC is autonomous from News International. It works to ensure full cooperation with all investigations into these issues - including Lord Justice Leveson's public inquiry, police inquiries and civil proceedings
  • Olswang, the leading law firm, who were recently appointed by the MSC to handle all victim civil litigation in relation to NotW voicemail interception will handle administrative issues relating to the Compensation Scheme. Further queries about the scheme can be emailed to: compensationscheme@olswang.com