In the Media

Andy Coulson wins appeal against News International over legal fees

PUBLISHED November 28, 2012

Mr Coulson, who also worked as the Prime Minister's director of communications, challenged a High Court ruling that his former employer should not have to pay his legal bills relating to any allegations of criminal activity.

He is currently facing charges that he conspired to hack the phones of more than 600 people, including the murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler and also conspired to cause misconduct in a public office in connection with the illegal purchase of information from Buckingham Palace's confidential phone directory.

Mr Coulson is also facing perjury charges in Scotland related to the trial of Tommy Sheridan.

News Group Newspapers, which published the now defunct News of the World, stopped paying Mr Coulson's legal fees in August last year.

But he challenged the decision claiming a clause in his severance agreement meant he was entitled to legal costs.

He applied to the Court of Appeal to overturn the ruling arguing that NGN "must pay the professional costs and expenses properly incurred" by him "in defending allegations of criminal conduct" during his tenure.

Lord Justice Laws, Lord Justice Sullivan and Lord Justice McCombe, sitting at the Court of Appeal in London, allowed his appeal today.

Lawyers for Mr Coulson argued that a clause in his contract when he left News International entitled him to legal costs.

Lord Justice McCombe, giving the unanimous ruling of the court, said he was "satisfied" that the clause did "cover Mr Coulson's costs and expenses of defending the criminal allegations"

Mr Coulson was not in court today to hear the ruling handed down.

The 44-year-old former editor, who has always denied any wrongdoing, resigned from his position as Prime Minister David Cameron's director of communications in January last year, saying that coverage of the scandal was making it too difficult for him to do his job.