British media including the BBC and the Press Association identified the man as Tom Crone, the former legal manager for Rupert Murdoch's News of the World tabloid.
The man was arrested in his London home and was being questioned at a London police station, Scotland Yard said. He was arrested in connection with Operation Weeting, one of three investigations into press wrongdoing and corruption.
Britain's media and political establishments have been shaken by allegations that the now-closed News of the World hacked people's phones for scoops. The allegations erupted into a massive scandal, prompting multiple investigations and dozens of arrests.
Among those facing criminal charges are Rebekah Brooks, the former chief of News Corp.'s British operations, and Andy Coulson, a former tabloid editor and the former communications chief for Prime Minister David Cameron.
News International, the British arm of News Corp., declined to comment Thursday.
Crone, the News of the World's longtime lawyer, was among five executives criticized in a lawmakers' report on the phone hacking scandal. The report, by Parliament's cross-party Culture, Media and Sport committee, said Crone gave false accounts of his knowledge of the extent of phone hacking at the newspaper.