Mark Lewis, the lawyer who has led the attack on hacking cases in the UK, has teamed with two New York law firms to represent at least four people, including one U.S. citizen, who may have had their privacy violated here by Rupert Murdoch-owned properties. If they decide to pursue the matter “I believe it will be taken seriously” by U.S. courts, one of the lawyers — Norman Siegel of Siegel Teitelbaum & Evans — said in a meeting with reporters today. ”These are serious issues.” Steven Hyman of McLaughlin & Stern is co-counsel. Lewis says the clients believe that their phones were hacked on U.S. soil between 2001 and 2006, and are named in notes of Glenn Mulcaire, the UK private investigator who cracked into people’s voicemail accounts for the Murdoch tabloid News Of The World. While the lawyers wouldn’t go into detail about their clients or plans, Lewis says that having U.S. lawyers may make it easier to question News Corp deputy COO James Murdoch, who recently moved to New York. “It becomes relevant to all sorts of issues,” he says. Lewis adds that none of the U.S. clients have cases in the UK that might be compromised by actions here.
EXCLUSIVE: Deadline has learned that American legal action in the News Corp phone-hacking scandal could come as early as the end of this week. UK lawyer Mark Lewis, one of the first to pursue allegations of hacking at the now-defunct News Corp-controlled News Of The World tabloid, will hold a press conference in Manhattan with his U.S. colleague Norman Siegel, former head of the New York Civil Liberties Union. A source close to the lawyers’ camp says the duo will announce what actions — legal and otherwise — it plans to take against Rupert Murdoch’s empire in the U.S. We are told that no names will be given regarding the three stateside hacking cases Lewis and Siegel are contemplating. However, we have learned that despite speculation neither David Beckham, nor Jude Law (nor one of his associates), nor Princess Diana’s former butler Paul Burrell are among potential litigants. “People are getting the names completely wrong,” the insider says. One of the individuals is, however, an American citizen. The lawsuits would be the first to be filed in the U.S., where News Corp has so far limited its exposure to the ongoing hacking investigations in Britain.