Ex-Newcastle footballer Paul Gascoigne has become one of the lead cases in the News of the World phone-hacking litigation.
The former England star has moved up from the “reserve” list after the recent settlement of football pundit Andy Gray’s case for £20,000.
Gascoigne’s civil damages claim against News Group Newspapers (NGN) will be assessed at London’s High Court in January along with that of actor Jude Law, sports agent Sky Andrew, interior designer Kelly Hoppen and MP Chris Bryant.
Any rulings made by Mr Justice Vos are expected to provide a blueprint for the way other claims are dealt with.
The case arises out of the disclosure of information by the Metropolitan Police and Vodafone relating to material forfeited by private investigator Glenn Mulcaire who, with former News of the World royal editor Clive Goodman, was jailed over royal phone taps in 2007.
On Friday, at the last case management conference until October 7, the judge said there should be agreement on a further back-up list of cases after he was told by Hugh Tomlinson QC, who represents several celebrities, that there was “always a substantial possibility” others might settle over the summer.
In May, actress Sienna Miller’s privacy and harassment case was settled for £100,000 after NGN made an unconditional admission of liability.
A spokesman for News International said at the time: “Several weeks ago we admitted liability in certain cases and offered a genuine and unreserved apology. We hope to resolve other cases swiftly.”
Around 30 people, including jockey Kieren Fallon, politicians Tessa Jowell and Mark Oaten, former Football Association boss David Davies and ex-player and Professional Footballers’ Association boss Mick McGuire, have made damages claims, say lawyers