Shame on you Phil Shiner

A lawyer whose firm brought hundreds of claims against British troops for war crimes has admitted he acted without integrity and paid a tout thousands to find him cases.

Phil Shiner, from Public Interest Lawyers, wrote a letter confessing some of his actions to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal over his firm’s alleged involvement in false claims being made against British troops by Iraqis.

He wrote that “he accepts” he will now face being struck off. Shiner admits he paid a tout more than £25,000 in referral fees to find clients and admits covering his tracks by doctoring evidence.

To date I have remained silent on this issue (mainly because my thoughts are unprintable) but as someone representing the soldiers facing years of inquiries and claims – all of which have been abandoned as bogus – I can’t stay silent any longer.

What Phil Shiner has done is not out of a sense of passion for the law, justice for those who need help or even to protect the human rights of others he so willingly advocates.

He has done this out of greed, taking taxpayers’ money from our struggling legal aid system which should have been used to protect our members of the armed forces in defending themselves. Instead he has instigated cash fuelled claims by so called Iraqi civilians to sue with a promise of a fat compensation cheque.

He shames his profession and the law. He has abused the system for his own greedy gain and most of all, and most importantly, he has ruined the lives of those who fought so bravely in Iraq and their families.

Shame on you Mr Shiner. You do not deserve to be a part of the legal profession.

Hilary Meredith