Time to even up David v Goliath battles in legal fights against public bodies

A mother who lost her son at Hillsborough has called for a “level playing field” for bereaved families in legal fights against public bodies.

Margaret Aspinall told MPs it was a “disgrace” South Yorkshire Police was publicly-funded during the inquests but the families were not.

Her call came after Labour said funds should be made available for relatives in Hillsborough-type legal fights.

Shadow Home Secretary Andy Burnham said the odds were stacked against families.

Speaking during an event in Westminster chaired by Mr Burnham, Mrs Aspinall attacked cuts to legal aid.

The Hillsborough Family Support Group chairwoman, who lost her 18-year-old son James in the 1989 disaster, said: “The police cannot be funded the way South Yorkshire were funded.

“To go back into court for two years, and for them to be funded again to come out with the same lies again is a disgrace.

“At least give the victims a level playing field.”

At Hilary Meredith Solicitors, we see this all the time at military Inquests and it’s a real David v Goliath battle for families. The Ministry of Defence will often have their solicitors plus a QC and junior barrister yet there is no funding available for families.  I agree with Mrs Aspinall.  The situation needs to change.


Clare Stevens