Iraq Abuse Claims - Lawyers in trouble

Bad CO

Admin
I know similar topics have been covered elsewhere but it would appear that Leigh Day solicitors are in a bit of trouble over their handling of the Iraq Abuse Inquiry. Of course this is far from reaching a conclusion but the fact that it is being seriously looked into brings a bit of cheer to my day.

I particularly like the quote that "the firm said it was the victim of political interference" which I guess is the danger when you really hack off the government!

Lawyers behind hundreds of legal claims alleging abuses by British troops face the prospect of being struck off over the shredding of a key document at the centre of a £31 million public inquiry.

Leigh Day, one of Britain’s leading human rights law firms, is facing disciplinary action in the wake of an inquiry into claims British troops had tortured and murdered Iraqi detainees.

During the inquiry it emerged that a key, hand-written document, which had the potential to stop the costly legal proceedings in their tracks, had been destroyed.

By then the Al-Sweady inquiry into the Battle of Danny Boy in May 2004 had taken almost five years to complete. Legal costs alone, paid for by the taxpayer, were said to run to £5 million.

The inquiry concluded that the allegations were baseless and the product of “deliberate and calculated lies” from Iraqi witnesses and detainees driven by a desire to smear the British military.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) now recommended that lawyers at Leigh Day face a full hearing by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, which has the sanction to strike off solicitors or order unlimited fines.
The case against another law firm Public Iinterest Lawyers (PIL) remains ongoing, according to the SRA. Both firms deny any wrongdoing.

Paul Philip, the SRA chief executive, said: “We have been looking into the serious issues arising from the Inquiry Report since its publication in December 2014.

“These are serious allegations and there is a clear public interest in resolving this matter as quickly as possible. Therefore we have referred Leigh Day, and a number of individual solicitors, to the independent Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. It is now for the Tribunal to decide to hear the allegations and decide what course of action to take.”

The SRA refuses to say what the allegations are but Leigh Day - in its denial of wrongdoing - said it was being accused of a number of disciplinary breaches which included the failure to spot the significance of the shredded detainee list; improperly holding a press conference to demand a public inquiry; entering into a ‘prohibited’ fee sharing arrangement with PIL; and that it had “in some way been touting for clients”.
The firm denies all the claims.

The crucial document that could have halted the hearing was an English translation of an Arabic record which suggested that some of the Iraqi claimants were members of the Mahdi Army militia rather than innocent civilians caught up in the firefight.

The original Arabic document was handed to Leigh Day in Damascus in August 2007, by a local Iraqi leader, Khuder Al-Sweady, the uncle of Hamid Al-Sweady, one of the men killed in the Battle of Danny Boy.

The document, which contained the names of the former detainees, along with the insurgent militia platoons to which they belonged, was translated locally and written up by hand into English, before being typed.

Although the contents of the document survived in other forms, it is believed that the destruction of the original handwritten translation made it harder for the Government’s lawyers to establish its true significance in court.
The Ministry of Defence in its closing statement to the Al-Sweady inquiry in 2014 named Anna Crowther as the solicitor at Leigh Day who “arranged for relevant documents (namely the translations) to be shredded”.
The MoD further alleged that the documents were destroyed the day before it was due to hand over its files to the inquiry.

Michael Fallon, the Defence Secretary, commenting ahead of the latest legal twist in the saga, said: “What we saw from cases like the Al-Sweady inquiry was a completely unacceptable attempt to abuse our legal system to falsely impugn our armed forces.”

Leigh Day, in denying any wrongdoing, issued a strongly worded and detailed defence of its action. The firm said: “Leigh Day strongly denies allegations made against it by the Solicitors Regulation Authority in relation to the work it has conducted on behalf of hundreds of Iraqis who claimed that they had been abused or unlawfully detained by British forces during or in the aftermath of the Iraq war.

“Leigh Day believes the decision to refer the firm to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal is premature as it has not been given a proper opportunity to respond to these allegations.”

The firm said it was the victim of political interference.

It said : “The decision by the SRA to investigate the Iraqi work of Leigh Day followed criticisms of the firm’s actions by the Ministry of Defence during and after the Al Sweady Inquiry.

“The context of the referral to the SRA by the MoD is highly political. Leigh Day, in the course of its professional duties, has brought a series of successful claims for compensation against the MoD arising from the actions of the British Army in Iraq over the death, torture and abuse of many Iraqis.”

Original article - Lawyers face prospect of being struck off over Iraq abuse claims
 

Rod924

LE
Kit Reviewer
Nice post @Bad CO . This has made my day; the money crabbing gunts
 
J

JWBenett

Guest
That article follows up from this, back in May 2014. About £27 million could have been saved.

"I was a bolshie b*****d. My skill in life is as a troublemaker", allegedly said by Day. How prophetic, the firm's already been accused of association with “deliberate lies, reckless speculation and ingrained hostility”, by a judge, as it happens. Besides conspiracy to win compensation payments and pervert the course of justice.

Judging by reports, there's a lot graduates from developing countries leaving universities to join troublemaking outfits like this on the human rights gravy train. So if this news puts some 400 such lawyers and 34 partners out of work, brilliant.
 
I know similar topics have been covered elsewhere but it would appear that Leigh Day solicitors are in a bit of trouble over their handling of the Iraq Abuse Inquiry. Of course this is far from reaching a conclusion but the fact that it is being seriously looked into brings a bit of cheer to my day.

I particularly like the quote that "the firm said it was the victim of political interference" which I guess is the danger when you really hack off the government!



Original article - Lawyers face prospect of being struck off over Iraq abuse claims
SRA has been taking its time on this, they've also asked for the maximum fine to be raised, I did raise the question of whether the two news items are related.

At present, the Solicitors Regulation Authority can charge only £2,000 to solicitors or law firms, including the “Magic Circle” of the UK’s most profitable international firms that turn over more than £1bn a year.

But

These Alternative Business Structures can be fined up to £250m and individuals within them can be fined up to £50m by the SRA.

And

“What you really need is a consolidation act to bring them all together,” said Mr Philip, adding that regulators needed “to have teeth”.


Lawyers’ watchdog moves to increase fines for wrongdoing - FT.com
 

Auld-Yin

ADC
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
Let's hope the legal profession doesn't close ranks to protect their "interests".
 
Brilliant, wasn't this the firm where one of the para-legals withheld a document that could have stopped one inquiry but kept it quiet for months, whilst still charging fees ?

The bit I liked was when some Iraqi witnesses were asked if they were telling fibs and they said "Yes, we thought that was what you wanted to hear!"

In a place where some are not much more than medieval nomads dragged from the Shia flats and paid daily expenses of £200 on top of accommodation and feeding ..... to tell the silly English what they want to hear ....... What could possibly go wrong?

In a place where everyone took the chance to roll up to a British location to claim $200 because their son/ daughter/ dog/ goat had been shot by the Army, because it was free money and culturally acceptable to take money from fools ........ What could possibly go wrong?

In a place where a Doctor earns $150 a month and you are offering a holiday to London, free 5 star accommodation and meals PLUS daily expenses of $400 a DAY in cash to repeat the claim........ what could possibly go wrong?

Drag an illiterate, medieval, peasant from the Shia flats for a three week all expenses paid holiday to London, and pay them in cash over TWICE what a Doctor earns in a MONTH, in DAILY expenses so they trouser, in cash, three YEARS of a professional salary in three weeks, for telling you what you want to hear ( comparably £300,0000 when compared to a UK GP salary) ......... What could possibly go wrong?

What could possibly go wrong??
 
I particularly like the quote that "the firm said it was the victim of political interference" which I guess is the danger when you really hack off the government!
Oh so their blatant bigoted ideological political interference was the victim of political interference. Right, got it.
Didn't there used to be a word for people like that?
 
So then, looks like there's a gap opening up in the market and there's still Afghanistan to exploit.

It'll soon be filled.
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
So then, looks like there's a gap opening up in the market and there's still Afghanistan to exploit.

It'll soon be filled.

You did mention you were considering a business venture.
 
Let's hope the legal profession doesn't close ranks to protect their "interests".

That would be totally unethical and would never happen in the United Kingdom.....Would it?.
 
Let's hope the legal profession doesn't close ranks to protect their "interests".

The legal industry looks after its own, along with the well known fact that the HoP has its fair share of the leeches.

The chances of this firm being struck off?


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Last edited:
D

Deleted 4886

Guest
Al Sweady has cost something in the region of 31 Mil and that's just one case. They should be be sued for every penny of money they have swindled (and costs). The problem is that the SDT (as with the BMA) is an internal organ that tends to lean gently on its flock. This smarmy group of inbreds needs its come-uppance.
 
The legal industry looks after its own, along with the well known fact that the HoP has its fair.

The chances of this firm being struck off?


Posted from the ARRSE Mobile app (iOS or Android)
Zero.
 

Doc Blackadder

Old-Salt
Last year was interviewed several times by the IHAD, to be fair the gents were ex forces and very on side, but to have to drag up painfull memories from 12 years ago was abit harsh. Especially when all of us were 1. doing our job and 2. defending ourselfs. Am i to expect a knock onthe door in 20 years time to answer for something that happened in 2010? It's about time these ambulance chasers were brought to account!
 
Last year was interviewed several times by the IHAD, to be fair the gents were ex forces and very on side, but to have to drag up painfull memories from 12 years ago was abit harsh. Especially when all of us were 1. doing our job and 2. defending ourselfs. Am i to expect a knock onthe door in 20 years time to answer for something that happened in 2010? It's about time these ambulance chasers were brought to account!

Just as a matter of interest why would you feel the need to be 'interviewed' by these people. I assume that any such interview was under caution and that you were represented legally - otherwise I cannot see any requirement for you to co-operate.
 

Doc Blackadder

Old-Salt
Just as a matter of interest why would you feel the need to be 'interviewed' by these people. I assume that any such interview was under caution and that you were represented legally - otherwise I cannot see any requirement for you to co-operate.

Apologies, maybe i used the wrong term. I was told that two members of the team were coming to see me on a set date to talk about a certain incident. My CoC strongly advised that i supply the witness statement, i answered their questions honestly and to the best of my recollection. I was not represented legally, nor under caution. The main reason i agreed to talk to them was to provide clarification on the true events of that day. Not what some Iraqi "witness" claimed. As has been mentioned before, what could go wrong if your giving someone vast weath (to them) per day to come over here to chat rubbish.
 

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