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News Corp To Face Phone Hacking Lawsuits In America, Says Lawyer Mark Lewis

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News Corp will face three hacking battles in the US including one figure from the
News Corp will face three hacking battles in the US including one figure from the "world of sport"

News Corp will face three hacking battles in the US including one figure from the "world of sport" in what is thought to be the first action of its kind in America, the lawyer of Milly Dowler's family has confirmed.

Mark Lewis told The Huffington Post UK he was heading to the US for meetings with lawyers on Thursday.

"Because I'm an English lawyer I can't do the legal actions in America. But basically we have had numerous conversations, this is the first face-to-face meeting."

Asked if the cases would come to court in the US, Lewis said he "would expect that's what is going to happen".

"I can't say the names [of the clients] at this stage, one of them is from the world of sport."

He said the actions were "not designed to harm anybody", adding: "It's designed to pursue proper remedies for clients. If clients are best served by pursuing claims in America that's what they have to do. Whether or not the collateral effect of that is harmful, is not really my concern."

Lewis believes the beleaguered parent company of News International has not yet had to answer lawsuits about phone hacking in the US. New legal cases could expose the company to more scandal in America.

Lewis, who also spoke to the US website The Daily Beast, said the phone hacking scandal was "getting wider".

“It’s not just the people who were A-list or celebrities, but people who were in their circles — people who might call them or work with them," he told the website.

So far 21 people have been arrested in connection with Operation Weeting, the Met Police's investigation into phone hacking, and 23 in Operation Elveden, which looks into illegal payments to public officials.

The news comes as the Independent Police Complaints Commission prepares to publish its probe into the decision by Met Police to give a PR contract to former News of the World executive editor Neil Wallis, who has been arrested on suspicion of phone hacking but not charged.

The company have settled at least 50 claims about phone hacking in Britain, including public figures such as Charlotte Church and Sienna Miller.

Lewis has also acted as a lawyer for the Professional Footballers' Association's Gordon Taylor, who received a £700,000 pay out from News international in 2007 after they admitted to hacking his mobile phone.

A spokesperson for News Corp declined to comment.

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