The Duke of Sussex’s legal claim against The Sun’s publisher over allegations of unlawful information gathering is set to go to trial in January 2025, the High Court has been told.
Harry, 39, alleges he was targeted by journalists and private investigators working for News Group Newspapers (NGN), publisher of The Sun and the now-defunct News Of The World.
At a preliminary hearing on Tuesday, the High Court was told two trials are expected in the dozens of active claims against the publisher over allegations of phone hacking and other unlawful information gathering.
David Sherborne, for the claimants, said there are 32 people whose cases are set to be heard at a trial in January 2024.
The barrister said: “That includes the claims of (British actor) Hugh Grant and the Duke of Sussex.”
However, Mr Sherborne told the hearing in London that numbers could change.
“At the moment, we proceed with the 32 and if something dramatic changes we can address it,” he said.
The hearing before Mr Justice Fancourt was later told 18 other claims against NGN – which denies any unlawful activity took place at The Sun – have been settled since August.
Tuesday’s hearing comes after a ruling in July blocked parts of Harry’s claim which related to allegations of phone hacking against the publisher.
In his judgment, Mr Justice Fancourt said Harry’s claim over other allegations – including use of private investigators – could go ahead to a trial.
The judge also refused to allow the duke to rely on an alleged “secret agreement” between the royal family and senior executives working for media mogul Rupert Murdoch as part of his claim.
A spokesperson for NGN called the ruling a “significant victory” for the publisher.
The next hearing in the claims against NGN is due in December.