Andy Coulson sues News International for legal fees

Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson has launched legal action against the now defunct newspaper’s publisher News Group Newspapers “regarding the termination of the payment for his legal action”.

A spokesman for law firm DLA Piper, which represents Coulson, said: “We can confirm that proceedings have been issued.”

The action was launched on Thursday last week, and News International, which owns News Group Newspapers, declined to comment.

It had been reported earlier this month that News International was paying DLA Piper for their legal advice to Mr Coulson following his arrest.

Coulson resigned from his position as Prime Minister David Cameron’s spin chief in January and was later arrested on suspicion of corruption and phone hacking. He is on police bail.

It also emerged at the end of last week that the family of Jade Goody fears the late celebrity’s phone could have been hacked.

The family was reported to be set to contact Scotland Yard. The Metropolitan Police said it would not comment on individual cases.

Publicist Max Clifford told The Guardian that Gody’s mother Jackiey Budden also believes she was targeted.

He said: “She will be going to the police. She believes her phone was hacked by the News of the World, and Jade’s.” News International again declined to comment on the allegations.

Allegations also emerged at the end of last week that Neil Wallis, the former deputy editor of News of the World, was paid more than £25,000 by News International while working at Scotland Yard as a public relations consultant.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said Wallis’s contract with the Metropolitan police included confidentiality, data protection and conflict of interest clauses, all of which would have prohibited him from selling on any information while employed by the force.

He added: “Neil Wallis was not provided access to the Metropolitan Police Service’s IT systems.”

Phil Smith of Tuckers Solicitors, who represents Wallis, told the Daily Telegraph they had complained formally to the Met about leaking information about the case.

The Scotland Yard spokesman added: “On Friday, the Met received a letter of complaint from solicitors acting for Neil Wallis. This is being considered.”

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