Secret list of law firms and financial services firms that used convicted private investigators held back from public

Some 22 law firms, nine insurance companies and eight financial services companies have commissioned work from private investigators convicted of illegally obtaining private information, the Home Affairs Select Committee has revealed, pressing the Serious and Organised Crime Agency to publish a secret list of businesses and individuals linked to the scandal.

The list was compiled through Operation Millipede – an inquiry into the acts of four private investigators – which led to the conviction of Philip Campbell-Smith and Graham Freeman of Brookmans International and retired Met detective Adam Spears. The fourth defendant, Daniel Summers, was subcontracted by the others.

The list of organisations and individuals involved was provided to the select committee last week on the condition it was kept secret. Keith Vaz, who chairs the committee, has asked for a timeline of when the public can expect to find out this information. In the meantime, it revealed the types of companies on the 102-strong list. Soca has refused to name the clients on the grounds it could disrupt the ongoing Tuleta inquiry – another investegation into the illegal accessing of private information by journalists.

Soca has said that the inclusion of individuals and businesses on the list does not mean they have committed a criminal offence.

The Metropolitan Police is also thought to have a second list with a further 200 companies, said to include law firms, banks and pharmaceutical companies.