News Corp is close to hiring Gerson Zweifach as its top corporate lawyer, bringing in the highly regarded litigator at a time when the company is dealing with the fallout from its phone-hacking scandal.

News Corp's discussions with Zweifach, a partner with Williams & Connolly, are at an advanced stage and a deal could be announced as early as next week, according to a source close to the matter. The source declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the talks.

A News Corp representative declined to comment. Zweifach could not be immediately reached for comment.

A 29-year veteran at White & Connolly, Zweifach's work as a litigator has focused on securities and antitrust cases. Among other clients, he has represented former New York Stock Exchange Chief Executive Richard Grasso and AstraZeneca Plc's Medimmune unit.

Zweifach would replace Lawrence Jacobs, who resigned in June. News Corp has been considering both internal and external candidates since then.

(Reporting By Paul Thomasch; Editing by Richard Chang)