Broughton House veterans’ care village gets the go ahead

I am delighted that plans for a £12.5m veterans’ care village at Broughton House in Salford have been approved. Broughton House is our charity of the year and our social committee has been busy on a range of fundraising initiatives for the veterans’ care village. As the only home for ex-servicemen and women in the…

Annual Sheep Drive over London Bridge

After becoming a Freeman of the City of London earlier this year, Hilary Meredith, Chair of Hilary Meredith Solicitors Ltd, took part in the great annual Sheep drive over London Bridge this weekend. The event, which raised thousands for the Lord Mayor’s Appeal, was launched by television chef Mary Berry. The Freedom of the City…

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…

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…

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…

House of Commons debates Government proposals for better combat compensation

The House of Commons has today debated Government proposals for better combat compensation. Under the proposals, combat immunity – which provides an exemption from legal liability for members of the armed forces and the government – would apply to all claims brought by those in combat, even when failings occurred far from the battlefield. An…

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…

Hilary Meredith appointed as Visiting Professor by University of Chester

Hilary Meredith, Chair of Hilary Meredith Solicitors, has been appointed as Visiting Professor of Law and Veterans’ Affairs by the University of Chester. The University of Chester, founded in 1893, is one of the oldest higher education institutions in the country. In her role as Visiting Professor, Hilary will primarily support the outputs of the…

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…