• There was a further twist in legal action against three of the UK’s mobile network operators, including Vodafone UK (VfUK), over the collapse of mobile retailer Phones 4u.

“Troubling indications” Telefónica Group destroyed evidence in Phones 4u case

Source: Alexander Andrews / Unsplash

There was a further twist in legal action against three of the UK’s mobile network operators, including Vodafone UK (VfUK), over the collapse of mobile retailer Phones 4u. TheTelegraph reported that Kenneth MacLean QC, a barrister for Paul Copley, the Managing Director of Aldan Management who was appointed “concurrent administrator” for Phones 4u (Vodafonewatch, #178 and passim), said there were “troubling indications” that Telefónica Group had destroyed documents relating to the case. MacLean is said to have told the High Court in a pre‑trial hearing that he would investigate whether senior executives “mysteriously seem to have lost their mobile phones and laptops and personal computers”. He alleged that documents belonging to César Alierta, the former Chief Executive of Telefónica, and former Telefónica Europe Head Eva Castillo Sanz “have been irretrievably deleted or otherwise lost”. Copley is pursuing a £1bn (€1.1bn) claim that VfUK worked alongside EE and Telefónica UK as part of a “secret, collusive cartel” to force the chain into administration. All the respondents reject the allegations. The Phones 4u administrator PricewaterhouseCoopers has indicated that a trial is “unlikely to take place before the end of 2021, if not later”.