Breach of Contract claimed by Matt Nixson

Matt Nixson, former head of features for The Sun is suing his employers, News Corp, in relation to what he describes as his wrongful dismissal and breach of contract.

Mr Nixson was fired in July this year (2011) when News Corp’s management and standards committee said it uncovered evidence of wrongdoing during his time at the News of the World. He is suing his former employer’s executives Will Lewis and Simon Greenberg, the media group’s chief lawyer Jeffrey Palker, and Lord Grabiner QC, the chairman of its management and standards committee, for more than £100,000 in damages.

Mr Nixson denies any involvement in unlawful activity and claims News Corp’s committee does not have the power to sack News Group employees. News Group is a subsidiary of News International, which is owned by News Corp.

Nixson filed a separate employment tribunal complaint against News Group for unfair dismissal in September. That tribunal is thought to be on hold while the high court legal action proceeds.
The damages of more than £100,000, incorporates 12 months’ salary plus additional benefits. Mr Nixson believes that due to News Corp’s actions he will face difficulty in finding alternative employment. “given the implication that he was involved in the phone-hacking activities of the News of the World”.

Mr Nixson was not provided with any reason for his dismissal at the meeting where he was dismissed, but he was told that his dismissal related to the discovery of emails from the journalist’s time at the News of the World which were “of interest to the police in their investigations”. However, Mr Nixson was never told what was in those emails. Mr Nixson also said that a full disciplinary hearing would have exonerated him of any allegations of wrongdoing. However no disciplinary hearing ever took place.

News Group confirmed in writing that Mr Nixson had been dismissed for gross misconduct over the discovery of “evidence of criminal conduct”.

If you have a legal issue that is related to a breach of contract then please get in touch with Stephen Attree or Awena Parry, our Commercial Law Solicitors, at Myers Lister Price Solicitors on 0845 0738 445 or