News of the World pays out £100,000 to Sienna Miller over phone-hacking

It’s the beginning of the big backlash for News International which is having to set aside £millions to compensate those its papers hacked off.

Sienna Miller’s payout was not as massive as some had speculated but at £100,000 its testimony to the fact that privacy invasion through dodgy practices doesn’t come cheap. The payout also sets the bar higher than even Max Mosley’s record privacy award of £60,000 against the same paper. With well over 20 celebrities waiting in the wings of High Court, it could be open season for claimants.

Considering Miller’s main aim had been to get an admission from the NoW what it had hacked into, the sum of £100,000 provides a pricey sum as precedent for those following her into the courtroom. Will we see a sliding scale of settlement according to the depth and intrusiveness? – possibly though it would be tough to quantify as there may not have been any lasting damage.

The question does arise as to whether there could be two causes of action for claimants such as Miller – one for the phone hacking and another for the stories the paper may have gone on to print based on the information it hacked?

In practice it is likely that where there is hacking as well as a story both would be wrapped up and reflected in settlement though it would not necessarily have to. Watch this space – hacking into Murdoch’s calls to or about Mulcaire would have provided some interesting dialogue!

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