The telephone records of West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady were 'unlawfully obtained by subterfuge', a High Court judge has said.
Accountants 'engaged' by Spurs had copies of telephone records
The telephone records of West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady were "unlawfully obtained by subterfuge" - and copies found their way into the hands of accountants "engaged" by Tottenham, a High Court judge said on Thursday.
Mr Justice Coulson said telephone records belonging to Brady were obtained at the height of a dispute over the future use of the 2012 Olympic Stadium.
And he said copies had found their way to a firm of accountants - PKF - engaged by Tottenham.
The White Hart Lane club are facing allegations of spying on the Hammers chief during the bidding process for the Stratford stadium.
The judge outlined "basic facts" at a hearing in London after Brady began legal action in an attempt to "obtain information" and the "wrongdoers responsible".
"At the height of the dispute about the use of the Olympic Stadium, Ms Brady's telephone records were unlawfully obtained by subterfuge," said Mr Justice Coulson.
"PKF was engaged by Tottenham Hotspur to carry out an investigation that was in some way connected with the Olympic Stadium.
"PKF have, in the last few days, said they do have copies of the wrongfully obtained telephone records."
The judge was told that Tottenham had been given copies of the records by PKF. But lawyers for Tottenham said no one at the club had the records prior to the start of legal proceedings.
Tottenham also released a statement earlier this month hitting back at allegations they ordered surveillance of all 14 members of the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) board during their unsuccessful battle for the stadium.
Mr Justice Coulson is due to hear more details about the Brady case at a further High Court hearing in London next Wednesday.
Lawyers for PKF argued that Thursday's hearing should have been held in private to prevent the "risk of misreporting".
But the judge said the hearing would be in public.
He said hearings could be held in private in "wholly exceptional" circumstances and the arguments put forward by PKF came "nowhere near" the necessary test.
Premier League club Tottenham and Championship club West Ham had both wanted to move to the £486 million Olympic Stadium in Stratford, East London, after the 2012 London Olympics.
They were embroiled in a legal dispute after the the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) opted for a bid put forward by West Ham.
Tottenham said the decision was unfair and mounted a High Court challenge against the OPLC's decision.
But the legal action was halted in October after the OPLC said it had decided to discontinue the process to dispose of the stadium and instead allow it to remain in public ownership and be rented out.