Andy Coulson allowed to appeal over ruling on legal fees
The former News of the World editor has won permission to appeal the previous high court ruling that News International is not liable to pay his legal fees over the phone-hacking scandal.
In August last year, News Group Newspapers, the subsidiary of News International which published the News of the World, stopped making payments to Mr Coulson for his legal fees, this was according to Mr Coulson a breach of his contract with the publisher. In the High Court Mr Justice Supperstone ruled that this was not the case and Mr Coulson would have to pay his own potential legal costs in relation to the phone-hacking scandal.
In the Court of Appeal on Tuesday the Master of the Rolls, Lord Neuberger and Lord Justice Laws agreed that Mr Coulson should be allowed to appeal the ruling.
The appeal will focus on the severance agreement between Mr Coulson and News Group Newspapers which was made on 26 January 2007 and just two days before he resigned as editor.
In the High Court, Supperstone ruled that the clause relating to the payment for Mr Coulson’s legal costs only covered “lawful duties” and any allegations of criminal proceedings are excluded.
The master of the rolls however has ruled that the former editor of the News of the World has an “arguable case”. The one-day hearing will be in front of three senior judges. The appeal will be heard later this year although no specific date has been set.