Murdoch’s lawyers turn on him

Murdoch’s Lawyers Turn on Him
First came the ex-staff lawyers, and now the London solicitors Harbottle & Lewis are firing back. But the real danger for Rupert Murdoch is if City firm Burton Copeland joins in, says Sam Bungey.
by Sam Bungey | August 17, 2011 11:36 PM EDT

What the Murdochs need right now are some mob lawyers. They should have discreet counsel on how to limit exposure, on what to do and say if they are arrested, and maybe the occasional use of an unbugged room in which to conduct business under the protection of the attorney-client privilege. Instead, what the family is getting is less Corleone consigliere, more Fredo Corleone rat.

The U.K. firm Harbottle & Lewis is leading the charge of lawyers aggressively dropping a dime on News International. Newly released documents in the hacking case show former staff lawyers Jon Chapman and Tom Crone both turning on their former bosses, and the Murdochs must now fear the worst over BCL Burton Copeland, the City firm drafted by their company to conduct a nine-month internal investigation into criminality.

Harbottle has been paid coming and going in the hacking scandal. The firm first advised Prince William and Kate Middleton over the investigation of erstwhile News of the World royals reporter Clive Goodman. The Scotland Yard probe ended in Goodman’s imprisonment for hacking the phones of members of the royal household, and with an apology and offer of a substantial donation to charities of Prince William’s choosing from News International.

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