News Corp Turns Internal Scandal Investigation Over To UK Superlawyer Lord Grabiner

Grabiner’s committee will report to News Corp EVP Joel Klein, who was glued to Rupert Murdoch’s side at the recent Allen & Co retreat in Sun Valley. Here’s the company’s statement:


London, 18 July, 2011 – News Corporation today confirmed the formal establishment and extension of the mandate of the Management and Standards Committee (MSC) as an independent body outside of News International.

The MSC is also delighted to confirm the appointment of Lord Grabiner QC as its independent Chairman.

Lord Grabiner, 66, is a commercial lawyer who has more than 40 years of experience of high-profile litigation. In addition he is a well-known and widely-respected figure in the banking, finance, academic and business worlds.

The MSC will report directly to Joel Klein, Executive Vice President and News Corp Board director, who in turn will report to Viet Dinh, an independent director and Chairman of News Corp’s Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. Both will update the News Corp Board of directors which has given the MSC its full support.

The extension of the MSC’s mandate will be confirmed in its Terms of Reference which will be published in due course.

Klein, who has previously held the position of Assistant Attorney General in the United States Department of Justice, said: “The extension of the MSC is the next step in dealing with the issues surrounding News International. It will co-operate fully with all authorities and also lay the foundation for future standards. It is therefore vitally important that it is independent and properly governed.

“We are very pleased that such an eminent person as Lord Grabiner has agreed to be the independent Chairman. He will bring his undoubted experience and intellect to this very important role. His appointment clearly demonstrates that we are serious about putting things right that have gone wrong in the past.”

The MSC is authorised to co-operate fully with all relevant investigations and inquiries in the News of the World phone hacking case, police payments and all other related issues across News International, as well as conducting its own enquiries where appropriate.

 It will also be responsible for proposing and overseeing the implementation of new compliance, ethics and governance procedures at News International.

William Lewis and Simon Greenberg will be formally seconded to the MSC from their current positions at News International as full-time executive members with immediate effect. All responsibilities from their previous roles as Group General Manager and Director of Corporate Affairs will be reassigned.

Jeff Palker, News Corp’s General Counsel for Europe and Asia, the other MSC’s executive member, will continue to be responsible for legal affairs throughout the region including direct oversight of the legal function at News International.

The MSC will be housed in a secure unit separate from the main News International office to ensure independence.

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