Miller 'should drop hacking claim'
Sienna Miller's claim in the News of the World phone-hacking case should be thrown out as she cannot win more than the £100,000 already offered, the High Court heard.
News Group's QC, Michael Silverleaf, said it was an abuse of process for the actress to continue to pursue her privacy case."She cannot realistically recover more than we are offering," he told Mr Justice Vos in London.
The April 6 offer, which Miller initially had 21 days to accept, also included injunctive relief and costs. That deadline was extended until 12 days after a contested hearing next month into whether the case should be struck out.
Mr Silverleaf said: "The civil litigation process does not exist for people to vent their feelings in public. It provides a remedy for wrongs. We have admitted the wrong and agreed to pay her the maximum sum."
Referring to the guidelines on damages laid down in the Max Mosley case, he added: "She has not been publicly accused of sexual depravity, being a Nazi, re-enacting concentration camps, nothing, it's not in that class."
Hugh Tomlinson QC, for Miller, said: "We haven't accepted the offer and we haven't rejected it. We are perfectly entitled to wait for 21 days to decide what to do."
Earlier, the judge said that Miller's claim should be one of four test cases - the others being those of interior designer Kelly Hoppen, commentator Andy Gray and sports agent Sky Andrew. They were appropriate to be heard first as they were well-advanced and covered a range of issues and levels of damage.
He said that the civil claims, some of which would be ready for trial by the end of the year, should not be delayed by the ongoing criminal investigation.
The main issue would be not whether there was a conspiracy, which News Group denied, admitting only isolated incidents, but about whether there was interception, how much, what was done with the information and what damage was suffered.
The hearing follows a series of rulings over the disclosure of information by the Metropolitan Police and Vodafone relating to material forfeited by private detective Glenn Mulcaire who, with News of the World reporter Clive Goodman, was jailed over royal phone taps in 2007 and phone data.