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PM vows to end ‘hounding’ of troops by claimant firms

By John Hyde » Prime minister David Cameron has pledged to work with the National Security Council to end what he called the ‘hounding’ of service personnel by claimant lawyers. The prime minister said the council has been asked to produce a ‘comprehensive plan’ to stamp out what he called ‘an industry trying to profit f r o m s p u r i o u s claims’. Measures are likely to clamp down on ‘no win, no fee’ arrangements, speed up the legal residence test and strengthen investigative powers and penalties against firms found to be abusing the system. London firm Leigh Day, which has been referred to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal over the handling of cases from Iraq, denied any wrongdoing. It said many cases of abuse have emerged, with the government paying compensation in more than 300. ‘We have a system in this country that enables people to obtain justice if they have suffered abuse, damage or loss at the hands of anyone. No one is above the law, not us, not the British Army and not the government,’ the firm said. The Law Society said: ‘Solicitors represent both those bringing claims against the state, and those serving in the armed forces, both regular and reserve, as trusted legal advisers. Everyone’s actions are subject to the rule of law – international human rights treaties and the law of armed conflict – and everyone’s fundamental rights must be protected. ‘We wait with interest to hear of the government’s proposals for reforming the law of human rights – and now the plans to be put forward by the National Security Council. But we hope that as rights are universal, they continue to apply to everyone.’

 

[Courtesy – The Law Society Gazette]

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