Lawyer calls on government to stop plotting and reveal its intentions

Plans to remove army service personnel’s right to pursue cases through the court are still alive, the government has confirmed. The plans, which effectively extend the principle of combat immunity and prevent claims coming before the court, were unveiled last December but a response to the MoD consultation has yet to materialise. There had been…

British Army veterans – another witch hunt with a depressingly familiar ring to it

Thousands of elderly British Army veterans are facing a new ‘witch-hunt’ over the deaths of suspected IRA terrorists more than 40 years ago, The Mail on Sunday has reported. In the largest ever trawl for eyewitnesses, ex-troops have been asked to provide legal statements about fatal shootings in Northern Ireland ahead of new inquests. The…

Recruitment crisis grips the military – why we shouldn’t be surprised

It is being reported today that an Army training course had 82 of its 96 places left unfilled as a recruitment crisis grips the military. Just 14 would-be troops signed up for the common infantry course at Catterick, the Army’s biggest base. There are a number of reasons for this sorry state of affairs. Take,…

Big Ben may not be silent after all

MPs have called for a review into whether Big Ben should remain silent for four years as it is refurbished. The giant bell at the centre of the Elizabeth Tower’s Great Clock was due to cease ringing next Monday to allow work to take place. But officials are now being asked to look at the…

MoD – why a complete overhaul is needed

When Sky News’ Alistair Bunkall posted an opinion piece online in late July chastising the leadership of the Armed Forces and MoD for ducking serious media scrutiny in favour of arranged appearances, it chimed with the impressions of a general disengagement in the vital debates around the future of the UK’s defence and security. Further…

Army must honour the Military Covenant – today’s Sunday Mirror

Commenting in today’s Sunday Mirror, Hilary Meredith has called for an urgent review of the treatment of ex-soldiers following the shocking revelations of decorated bomb hero, Wayne Owens. Major Wayne Owens was honoured three times by the Queen, saved countless lives and defused nearly 1000 bombs in Afghanistan. Yet his 27-year decorated career ended with…

Soldier’s battle over aftercare concerns

A paratrooper injured during a tour of Afghanistan more than a decade ago has been forced to seek legal advice over his aftercare needs. Lance bombardier Ben Parkinson suffered a severe brain injury and lost both his legs after a Land Rover he was travelling in was struck by an anti-tank mine in the North…

Suicide Crisis and why families need representation at Inquests

There is an excellent blog by Joy Hibbins, founder and director of Suicide Crisis, a charity which runs a Suicide Crisis Centre in Cheltenham, UK in today’s Huffpost. Joy explains why bereaved families need legal support at Inquests and describes how unrepresented families sometimes describe feeling that this is a “David and Goliath” situation. I…

Improving mental health and wellbeing in the Armed Forces

In a welcome development Tobias Ellwood, Minister for Defence People and Veterans, has launched a new initiative to improve the mental health and wellbeing of the Armed Forces, their families, veterans, and Defence civilians. While rates of mental disorder are slightly lower in the Armed Forces (3.2%) than in the general population (3.5%), the challenge…

Why electronic Wills are not the way forward

Laws on Wills need an overhaul so they can be written electronically and by people as young as 16, according to a consultation document published today by the Law Commission. While I generally welcome proposals to modernise the law and make it more accessible, I do not believe electronic Wills are the way forward. People…

Here we go again – Let’s target fake claims not our troops

There have been calls over the weekend for the SAS to be investigated over allegations special forces illegally killed dozens of people during the war in Afghanistan. Alongside an investigation by the Royal Military Police, a civil claim is being brought alleging special forces unlawfully killed civilians in Helmand Province during a hunt for Taliban…

Airlines cheating passengers out of millions of pounds

Airlines are cheating passengers out of millions of pounds in compensation for delayed flights, an investigation has found. Ryanair, British Airways, Norwegian, Thomson and Emirates are among the worst offenders, the consumer group Which? claims. Passengers flying from the EU or with an EU airline are entitled to up to £530 if their flight is…

Hilary Meredith Solicitors – our response to the Queen’s Speech

We welcome the government’s proposals to crack down on fraudulent whiplash claims – as long as the focus is on reducing fraudulent claims and better regulation of claims management companies and not taking away the rights of victims to recover compensation. All our staff are trained to identify potentially fraudulent cases.  We believe anti-fraud training…

Pte Sean Benton inquest ‘to consider Deepcut bullying’

A fresh inquest into the death of an army recruit will examine whether he was bullied and harassed at the army base before he died. Pte Sean Benton, 20, was found with five gunshot wounds at Deepcut Barracks, in June 1995. His death was originally recorded as suicide, but a second inquest was ordered after…

Inquest not Public Inquiry should be first step after Grenfell Tower Tragedy

To ensure public confidence that the role of Government has been properly scrutinised, the Prime Minister must allow an inquest into the deaths caused by the Grenfell Tower fire BEFORE any Public Inquiry takes place. Concerns have been raised that a public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire could potentially be a “whitewash” as it…

Good luck to Andy Reid on his Warrior Challenge

Andy Reid, community ambassador for Hilary Meredith Solicitors, will this month cycle 400 miles and kayak 125 miles over 14 days in memory of six soldiers who were killed in an explosion of their Warrior armoured vehicle in Afghanistan in 2012. The Warrior Challenge will also be raising money for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity –…

Supporting Broughton House

It is always good to visit our official charity, Broughton House in Salford, and hear of the excellent work they are undertaking on behalf of veterans. Since it opened in 1916 Broughton House has cared for more than 8,000 veterans of our armed forces. The charity has embarked on plans to reopen as a brand…