News International Launches Compensation Plan for Phone Hacking Victims

News International has launched a new compensation plan for victims of phone hacking at News of the World, the company announced Friday.

In a news release announcing the plan, the company said it would serve as a "speedy, cost effective alternative to litigation."

Former High Court Judge Sir Charles Gray will serve as the independent adjudicator of the program.

"I am confident the scheme, which is now operational, will provide a fair, effective, and speedy means for determining compensation in these cases," Gray said in a statement. "It should provide very significant benefits to applicants such as avoiding the enormous expense of court proceedings. I look forward to adjudicating awards under the scheme, at all times safeguarding the fairness of the process and the rights of applicants."