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Calderdale firms failed to pay minimum wage

Calderdale companies are among 197 firms who have been named and shamed by the Government for failing to pay their staff the national minimum wage.

Earn Extra based on Phoenix Court off Wakefield Road, Brighouse, was found to have owed £453.48 to one of its employees.

Omega Proteins Ltd, Halifax owed *8,977.51 to five workers and William Priestley Salon Ltd owed £830.69 to one employee.

Between them and the other companiens that were publicly named by business minister Margot James, the 197 businesses owed £465,291 in arreas, across a range of employers including football clubs, hotels, care homes and hairdressers.

After a Government investigation, all of that money has now been paid back.

Business Minister Margot James said since the national living wage scheme was introduced in October 2013, 688 employers have been named and shamed, with total arrears of more than £3.5 million.

“This government is determined to build an economy that works for everyone, not just the privilged few.

“That means making sure everyone gets paid the wages they are owed – including our new, higher, National Living Wage.

“It is not acceptable that some employers fail to pay at least the minimum wage their workers are entitled to.

“So we’ll continue to crack down on those who ignore the law, including by naming and shaming them.”

The National Living Wage for workers aged 25 and over was introduced in April this year, which was meant a pay rise of more that £900 a year for someone previously working full time on the National Minimum Wage.

It is an employer’s responsibility to be aware of the different minimum wage rates depending on the circumstances of their workers and to make sure all eligible workers are paid at least the minimum rate they are entitled to.


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Pomerantz Law Firm Reminds Shareholders with Losses on their Investment in CytRx Corporation of Class Action Lawsuit and Upcoming Deadline – CYTR

NEW YORK, NY / ACCESSWIRE / August 19, 2016 / Pomerantz LLP announces that a class action lawsuit has been filed against CytRx Corporation (“CytRx” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: CYTR) and certain of its officers. The class action, filed in United States District Court Central District of California, and docketed under 16-cv-05666, is on behalf of a class consisting of all persons or entities who purchased or otherwise acquired CytRx securities between November 18, 2014 and July 11, 2016, inclusive (the “Class Period”). This class action seeks to recover damages against Defendants for alleged violations of the federal securities laws under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”).

If you are a shareholder who purchased CytRx securities during the Class Period, you have until September 23, 2016 to ask the Court to appoint you as Lead Plaintiff for the class. A copy of the Complaint can be obtained at www.pomerantzlaw.com. To discuss this action, contact Robert S. Willoughby at rswilloughby@pomlaw.com or 888.476.6529 (or 888.4-POMLAW), toll free, ext. 9980. Those who inquire by e-mail are encouraged to include their mailing address, telephone number, and number of shares purchased.

[Click here to join this class action]

CytRx is a biopharmaceutical research and development company specializing in oncology. One of the Company’s primary trial drugs is aldoxorubicin.

The Complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s business, operational and compliance policies. Specifically, Defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose: (1) that the clinical hold placed on the Phase 3 trial of aldoxorubicin for soft tissue sarcomas (“STS”) would prevent sufficient follow-up for patients involved in the study; (2) that, as a result, nearly half of all patients would be censored (excluded) from the progression free survival evaluation; (3) that, in response, CytRx would likely conduct a second analysis; (4) that, as such, the results of the trial could be materially affected and/or approval of aldoxorubicin for STS could be delayed; and (5) that, as a result of the foregoing, Defendants’ statements about CytRx’s business, operations, and prospects, were false and misleading and/or lacked a reasonable basis.

On July 11, 2016, CytRx issued a press release announcing the results of the Company’s Phase 3 clinical trial of aldoxorubicin compared to investigator’s choice therapy in patients with relapsed or refractory STS. Therein, the Company disclosed that, “the study did not show a significant difference between aldoxorubicin and investigator’s choice therapy for [progression free survival] . . . .” Moreover, CytRx disclosed that a partial clinical hold in November 2014 led to insufficient follow-up for nearly two-thirds of patients who entered the Phase 3 study after the hold was resolved and enrollment resumed. As a result, nearly half of all patients were censored (excluded) from the progression free survival evaluation. Finally, CytRx announced that it “expects to conduct a second analysis, which will include longer patient follow-up and allow for greater maturation of all endpoints.”

On this news, CytRx’s stock price fell $1.50 per share, or 59.7%, to close at $1.01 per share on July 12, 2016, on unusually heavy trading volume. The Company’s stock price continued to decline over the next two trading days, falling 10%, to close at $0.90 per share on July 14, 2016.

The Pomerantz Firm, with offices in New York, Chicago, Florida, and Los Angeles, is acknowledged as one of the premier firms in the areas of corporate, securities, and antitrust class litigation. Founded by the late Abraham L. Pomerantz, known as the dean of the class action bar, the Pomerantz Firm pioneered the field of securities class actions. Today, more than 80 years later, the Pomerantz Firm continues in the tradition he established, fighting for the rights of the victims of securities fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty, and corporate misconduct. The Firm has recovered numerous multimillion-dollar damages awards on behalf of class members. See www.pomerantzlaw.com.

SOURCE: Pomerantz LLP


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Pomerantz Law Firm Reminds Shareholders with Losses on their Investment in Orbital ATK, Inc. of Class Action Lawsuit and Upcoming Deadline – OA

NEW YORK, Aug. 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Pomerantz LLP announces that a class action lawsuit has been filed against Orbital ATK, Inc. (“Orbital” or the “Company”) (NYSE: OA) and certain of its officers. The class action, filed in United States District Court, Eastern District of Virginia, and docketed under 16-cv-01031, is on behalf of a class consisting of all persons or entities who purchased or otherwise acquired Orbital securities between June 1, 2015 and August 9, 2016 inclusive (the “Class Period”). This class action seeks to recover damages against Defendants for alleged violations of the federal securities laws under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”).

If you are a shareholder who purchased Orbital securities during the Class Period, you have until October 11, 2016 to ask the Court to appoint you as Lead Plaintiff for the class. A copy of the Complaint can be obtained at www.pomerantzlaw.com. To discuss this action, contact Robert S. Willoughby at rswilloughby@pomlaw.com or 888.476.6529 (or 888.4-POMLAW), toll free, ext. 9980. Those who inquire by e-mail are encouraged to include their mailing address, telephone number, and number of shares purchased.

[Click here to join this class action]

Orbital develops and produces aerospace, defense, and aviation-related products for the U.S. Government, allied nations, prime contractors, and other customers in the United States and internationally. The Company was formed through a February 2015 merger between Orbital Sciences Corporation and Alliant Techsystems Inc. In September 2012, Orbital entered into a $2.3 billion long-term contract (the “Contract”) with the U.S. Army to manufacture and supply small caliber ammunition at the U.S. Army’s Lake City Army Ammunition Plant.

The Complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and/or misleading statements, as well as failed to disclose material adverse facts about the Company’s business, operations, and prospects. Specifically, Defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (i) Orbital lacked effective control over financial reporting; (ii) as a result, the Company failed to record an anticipated loss on the Contract after the loss became evident in 2015, as required by generally accepted accounting principles; and (iii) as a result of the foregoing, Orbital’s public statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.

On August 10, 2016, pre-market, Orbital announced that the Company would miss its Securities and Exchange Commission Form 10-Q filing deadline for its most recent quarter and that “the Company’s previously issued financial statements for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015 (“fiscal 2015”), the nine-month transition period ended December 31, 2015 (“2015 transition period”), the quarters in fiscal 2015 and the 2015 transition period, and the quarter ended April 3, 2016 . . . should no longer be relied upon” as a results of misstatements relating primarily to the Contract. The Company advised investors that “[a]fter considering the misstatements . . . the Company believes that the Contract will result in a net loss over its 10-year term.” The Company further stated these issues “indicate the existence of one or more material weaknesses in its internal control over financial reporting.”

On this news, Orbital’s share price fell $17.98, or 20.25%, to close at $70.79 on August 10, 2016.

The Pomerantz Firm, with offices in New York, Chicago, Florida, and Los Angeles, is acknowledged as one of the premier firms in the areas of corporate, securities, and antitrust class litigation. Founded by the late Abraham L. Pomerantz, known as the dean of the class action bar, the Pomerantz Firm pioneered the field of securities class actions. Today, more than 80 years later, the Pomerantz Firm continues in the tradition he established, fighting for the rights of the victims of securities fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty, and corporate misconduct. The Firm has recovered numerous multimillion-dollar damages awards on behalf of class members. See www.pomerantzlaw.com

CONTACT:
Robert S. Willoughby
Pomerantz LLP
rswilloughby@pomlaw.com

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/shareholder-alert–pomerantz-law-firm-reminds-shareholders-with-losses-on-their-investment-in-orbital-atk-inc-of-class-action-lawsuit-and-upcoming-deadline–oa-300316087.html

SOURCE Pomerantz LLP


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SHAREHOLDER ALERT: Pomerantz Law Firm Reminds Shareholders with Losses on their Investment in Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. of Class Action Lawsuit and Upcoming Deadline – KERX

NEW YORK, Aug. 19, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Pomerantz LLP announces that a class action lawsuit has been filed against Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. (“Keryx” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ:KERX) and certain of its officers.  The class action, filed in United States District Court, Southern District of New York, and docketed under 16-cv-06233, is on behalf of a class consisting of all persons or entities who purchased or otherwise acquired Keryx securities between February 25, 2016 and July 29, 2016 inclusive (the “Class Period”).  This class action seeks to recover damages against Defendants for alleged violations of the federal securities laws under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”). 

If you are a shareholder who purchased Keryx securities during the Class Period, you have until October 3, 2016 to ask the Court to appoint you as Lead Plaintiff for the class.  A copy of the Complaint can be obtained at www.pomerantzlaw.com. To discuss this action, contact Robert S. Willoughby at rswilloughby@pomlaw.com or 888.476.6529 (or 888.4-POMLAW), toll free, ext. 9980. Those who inquire by e-mail are encouraged to include their mailing address, telephone number, and number of shares purchased. 

[Click here to join this class action]

Keryx is a biopharmaceutical company focused on marketing therapies for patients with renal disease. The Company’s product, Auryxia (ferric citrate), also known as Riona in Japan and Fexeric in Europe, is an oral, absorbable iron-based compound, that received marketing approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) in September 2014 for the control of serum phosphorus levels in patients with chronic kidney disease (“CKD”) on dialysis.

The Complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and/or misleading statements, as well as failed to disclose material adverse facts about the Company’s business, operations, and prospects. Specifically, Defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (i) the Company was experiencing production-related difficulties in converting API to finished drug product; (ii) the foregoing difficulties were resulting in decreased production yields of finished drug product; (iii) consequently, the Company would exhaust its reserve of finished drug product; and (iv) as a result of the foregoing, Defendants’ statements about Keryx’s business, operations, and prospects, were false and misleading and/or lacked a reasonable basis.

On August 1, 2016, pre-market, Keryx announced that it had determined that a supply interruption of Auryxia was going to occur due to a production-related issue in converting active pharmaceutical ingredient (“API”) to finished drug product at its contract manufacturer. The Company also disclosed that this issue has resulted in variable production yields of finished drug product, and that as a result, the Company had exhausted its reserve of finished drug product. Finally, the Company stated that it expects to restore adequate supply of Auryxia and make Auryxia available to patients during the fourth quarter of 2016.

On this news, Keryx’s stock price fell $2.64 per share, or 35.8%, to close at $4.72 per share on August 1, 2016, on unusually heavy trading volume.

The Pomerantz Firm, with offices in New York, Chicago, Florida, and Los Angeles, is acknowledged as one of the premier firms in the areas of corporate, securities, and antitrust class litigation. Founded by the late Abraham L. Pomerantz, known as the dean of the class action bar, the Pomerantz Firm pioneered the field of securities class actions. Today, more than 80 years later, the Pomerantz Firm continues in the tradition he established, fighting for the rights of the victims of securities fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty, and corporate misconduct. The Firm has recovered numerous multimillion-dollar damages awards on behalf of class members. See www.pomerantzlaw.com

CONTACT:
Robert S. Willoughby
Pomerantz LLP
rswilloughby@pomlaw.com


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Lobbying firms hire outside counsel for Manafort allegations

Two K Street firms caught up in the web of Paul Manafort’s influence have hired outside counsel to look into whether a former client he referred to them lied about its source of funding.

Manafort, who resigned on Friday as Donald TrumpDonald TrumpJudge recommends criminal contempt charges for Sheriff Joe Arpaio Trump supporter says he was kicked out of rally ‘because I’m brown’ EXCLUSIVE Bardella: On Steve Bannon and why I’m voting for Hillary MORE’s campaign manger, has thrust the Podesta Group and Mercury into a controversy about undisclosed foreign lobbying.

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The scrutiny is falling on the Brussels-based non-profit the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine, which Manafort introduced to the firms.

The organization had ties to the Party of Regions in Ukraine, led by then-President Viktor Yanukovych — for whom Manafort consulted. The Centre insisted to the lobby firms that it had no foreign government or political party exerting an influence.

The Podesta Group has hired the law firm Caplin & Drysdale, and Mercury has retained Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, to handle the mounting controversy.

Podesta “has retained Caplin & Drysdale as independent, outside legal counsel to determine if we were misled by the Centre for a Modern Ukraine or any other individuals with regard to the Centre’s potential ties to foreign governments or political parties,” Podesta Group CEO Kimberley Fritts said in a statement on Friday.

Skadden, meanwhile, “has been engaged to look into the matter” for Mercury, said Kenneth Gross, who lead’s Skadden’s political law practice.

It is the latest wrinkle in the controversy surrounding Manafort and his associate Rick Gates, who still works on the GOP presidential nominee’s campaign. 

Earlier this week, The Associated Press reported that introductions by Manafort and Gates that connected the Centre to the Washington lobby firms Podesta Group and Mercury resulted in $2.2 million in advocacy work between 2012 and 2014, according to public filings. 

Manafort and his firm worked for the political party of Yanukovych, who was ultimately ousted as Ukraine’s president. He and Gates have said, however, that none of the work had to be disclosed under the foreign lobbying law, the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).

The Podesta Group, which is one of the biggest lobby shops on K Street, said on Tuesday that it had secured a signed statement from the Centre attesting that it was not connected to any foreign governments or parties before starting any work. 

The firm then detailed its work in disclosures under the domestic lobbying law, the Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA), as sanctioned by an outside legal opinion, Fritts, of the Podesta Group, said.

“We relied on that certification and advice from counsel in registering and reporting under the Lobbying Disclosure Act rather than the Foreign Agents Registration Act,” Fritts said on Friday.

Disclosures under the LDA require much less information and detail than FARA filings. Lobbyists representing private organizations based abroad — such as corporations and non-profits — do not have to file under FARA, unless a foreign government has a monetary or influential stake.

Buzzfeed’s Rosie Gray first reported the news of the two firms bringing on outside counsel.

Every kind of response is on the table right now, Fritts said in her statement on Friday.

“We will take whatever measures are necessary to address this situation based on Caplin & Drysdale’s review, including possible legal action against the Centre,” she said.

The director of the Centre, Ina Kirsch, said that she had hired the firms on her own, with no help from Manafort and Gates, according to The AP. Kirsch also said that neither of the men had control of advocacy strategy.

Other sources cited by the AP — including emails obtained by the outlet — refute that claim.

– Updated at 6:09 p.m.

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Law Firms: Plan Financial Success and Go for the Gold

Did you know the medals given to Olympic champions are not made purely of the metal they represent?

The amount of gold in an Olympic gold medal varies from year to year, but they have not been solid gold since the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm. In fact, they’re mostly made of silver and are covered in a small layer of gold, according to an article in Compound Interest. Bronze medals are made mostly of copper. This year, the bronze medal is 95 percent copper and five percent zinc. On the other hand, silver medals are the only ones that are actually as advertised, containing silver with about 92.5 percent purity. (Another fun fact: about one-third of that silver comes from recycled sources like car parts and mirrors.)

law firm financial planningOf course, winning the gold, silver or bronze medal is not actually the goal of the Olympic Games. It’s a tradition that awards exceptionally talented athletes with a symbol of pride for themselves and for their country. That symbol can be applied to our lives and careers, too.

Going for the Gold

As lawyers, we want what’s best for our firms and personal lives, and financial success is a critical factor. Going for the gold in our professional lives means developing a financial plan as early as possible and sticking to it.

An overarching strategy with numerous layers ensures lawyers are setting up success now and throughout their careers and lives. One layer to many lawyers’ successful plans involves structured attorney fees. Following the same principles of a structured settlement, lawyers may elect to defer attorney fee payments to manage their firm’s cash flow and reach their financial goals at home. There are many advantages to deferring payments, including potential tax benefits.

Continuing financial success comes from accumulation and disciplined savings, and the plan must be tailored to the individual lawyer, his or her law firm, and the needs and goals surrounding both. Naturally, a lawyer and his or her firm must be financially ready to put a plan in place and stick to it.

It’s never too early to start planning. Talk to an expert to go for the gold in financial success.


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Smiley Wang-Ekvall, LLP Receives Tier One Ranking in National Best Law Firms Listing

2017 Best Lawyers in America Annual Ranking Also Honors Founding Partner Evan D. Smiley as “Lawyer of the Year” for Bankruptcy and Insolvency in Orange County

/EINPresswire.com/ — COSTA MESA, CA — (Marketwired) — 08/16/16 — Smiley Wang-Ekvall, LLP, a Southern California law firm specializing in bankruptcy and insolvency matters, real estate transactions, and business litigation, today announced that it has been awarded a Tier One ranking by U.S News & World Report and Best Lawyers® in the 2017 Edition of Best Law Firms for the practice area of Bankruptcy & Creditor-Debtor Rights/Insolvency & Reorganization Law. Founding partner, Evan D. Smiley, was also awarded “Lawyer of the Year” in the same category for his work in Orange County.

Smiley Wang-Ekvall attorneys have achieved placement in the Best Lawyers listing for three consecutive years since the firm’s founding in fall 2014. This is the firm’s third year being recognized with a Tier One ranking. As the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession, the Best Lawyers in America list is widely regarded by both clients and legal professionals as a significant honor conferred upon a lawyer by his or her peers. A Tier One ranking signifies the highest recognition a law firm can achieve based upon evaluation of technical legal ability, professional conduct, client service, commercial astuteness, diligence, commitment, and other differentiating factors.

“It continues to be an honor to have three of our partners, Evan D. Smiley, Philip E. Strok, and Robert S. Marticello, recognized by Best Lawyers in America and our continued Tier One ranking is an achievement for the firm that reflects our ongoing dedication to consistently delivering excellent representation for and outstanding results to our clients,” said Lei Lei Wang Ekvall, partner with Smiley Wang-Ekvall, LLP. “We are especially proud of our partner, Evan D. Smiley, for being awarded ‘Lawyer of the Year’ in Orange County for his work in bankruptcy, insolvency and reorganization law. His integrity, intellect, collaborative spirit and strong leadership have contributed significantly to both the firm and our industry.”

“Smiley Wang-Ekvall was founded with a vision to provide our clients with the highest quality of service,” said Evan D. Smiley, partner of Smiley Wang-Ekvall, LLP. “It is a tremendous honor to be recognized by my peers and colleagues for delivering on this vision.”

Since the first publication in 1983, Best Lawyers® assembles their list of attorneys by administering extensive peer-review surveys. Ultimately, thousands of leading lawyers are selected confidentially to evaluate practicing peers. The current, 23rd edition of The Best Lawyers in America© is based on millions of detailed and carefully analyzed evaluations of lawyers submitted by their peers.

ABOUT BEST LAWYERS
Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey. More than 52,000 leading attorneys cast more than 5.5 million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas. Lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed; therefore inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor. Corporate Counsel magazine has called Best Lawyers “the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice.”

ABOUT SMILEY WANG-EKVALL, LLP
Smiley Wang-Ekvall, LLP is a premiere insolvency, real estate and business litigation firm. Its insolvency practice is dedicated to representing debtors, creditors, creditors’ committees, equity committees, trustees, and asset purchasers and helping them successfully navigate bankruptcy-related matters. Boasting a team of highly-experienced lawyers with transactional and litigation experience, Smiley Wang-Ekvall is committed to understanding client needs and combining critical thinking with innovative advocacy tactics to achieve the best possible results. As a specialized boutique firm with seven partners, Smiley Wang-Ekvall values diplomacy and collaboration among its team, clientele and industry peers. Headquartered in Costa Mesa and with an office in Los Angeles, Smiley Wang-Ekvall serves clients locally, regionally and nationwide. For more information, visit swelawfirm.com.

Media Contact:
Erin Stone
erin@echomediapr.com
714.573.0899 x 241


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UK law firms will be able to profit from pursuing cyber criminals

macro-police-keyboard

A pilot scheme from the City of London police means that private law firms will be able to profit from the pursuit of suspected cyber criminals. Rather than handling cases of online crime themselves, police will instead pass details on to private agents.

These firms will then able to use civil — rather than criminal — courts to seize the profits of cybercrime. It is thought that police forces are spending too much time and money fighting online crime, and that private agencies might be better equipped to deal with the problem.

Marking a huge change in policy, the experiment will give private law firms the opportunity to use their own time and resources to seize — and profit from — the assets of cyber criminals. It’s hoped that the process would be much quicker than current methods, making it possible to return money and goods to victims faster than before.

But there are concerns that with the motive of profit, the new policy might not be entirely fair and that there is a risk of innocent people being pursued. As noted by the Guardian there is a much lower burden of proof on prosecutors in civil courts, while in criminal courts it is necessary to prove guilt ‘beyond reasonable doubt’.

Katie Wheatley from London law firm Bindmans questions the sense in privatizing law enforcement in this way:

We’ve seen privatization in this context in other ways, for example prison privatization. We all know how badly that’s gone wrong, particularly for young offenders. I appreciate they are not talking about convictions or detentions, but having possibly life savings, large assets stripped from you is a life-changing event. Whereas for the companies that the role was subcontracted to, it would just be a job.

Photo credit: kirill_makarov / Shutterstock

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Hundreds of compensation claims against British soldiers could be abandoned after controversial law firm announces closure

Hundreds of compensation claims against British soldiers are likely to be abandoned after a controversial law firm accused of “hounding” troops announced that it is closing.

Public Interest Lawyers has spent more than a decade pursuing British soldiers through the courts since the Iraq War and has leveled more than 1,100 claims of maltreatment against them including abuse, torture and murder.

However the firm, based in Birmingham, has now informed clients that it is shutting down just days being barred from receiving public money for ongoing cases after an 18 month investigation by the Legal Aid Agency.


Phil Shiner at the High Court in 2004
Phil Shiner at the High Court in 2004

Credit:
 Stephen Lock 

Phil Shiner, the firm’s founder, is under investigation by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal and even faces a possible criminal inquiry by the National Crime Agency over allegations Iraqi civilians were “bribed” to bring claims.

It comes after the £31million Al-Sweady war crimes inquiry into allegations of murder and torture by British soldiers found that claims made by PIL’s clients were “deliberate and calculated lies”.

Michael Fallon, the Defence Secretary, said: “This is the right outcome for our armed forces, who show bravery and dedication in difficult circumstances.

“For too long, we’ve seen our legal system abused to impugn them falsely. We are now seeing progress and we will be announcing further measures to stamp out this practice.”

Evidence exists showing that Professor Shiner was aware of ‘disguised bribes’ being paid in relation to publicly funded mattersSource

The closure of Public Interest Lawyers will put both its current and future cases in doubt and result in significant savings for the taxpayers.

Since 2003, the MoD has spent £100million on Iraq-related investigations and compensation, with £44million more earmarked for ongoing compensation claims from Iraqis up to 2019.

A further £55.7million has been set aside for the Iraq Historic Allegations Team to investigate cases up to 2019. Public Interest Lawyers is currently pursuing 187 compensation claims against the Ministry of Defence in the High Court under human rights laws.

It has now informed its clients that the compensation cases can no longer go ahead because it lacks sufficient legal insurance and will close on 31 August.

The firm has advised its them to find other representation, but it is likely that many of the compensation claims will no longer be pursued.

It has also referred 1,108 allegations negligence by British personnel in Iraq to the Iraq Historical Allegations Team for criminal investigation, many of which it was intending to pursue for compensation in the civil courts.

The firm has also pursued soldiers at The Hague – a court that normally tries war criminals.

General Sir Mike Jackson, a former Chief of General Staff, said: “My reaction is one of some satisfaction. I have been of the view for some time that the protestations of Public Interest Lawyers were somewhat dubious.

“Soldiers have been hounded with false accusations and the cost of these cases is pretty outrageous. It’s a terrible waste of public money and the defence budget.”


Colonel Tim Collins
Colonel Tim Collins, a vocal critic of Mr Shiner

Credit:
Andrew Crowley for The Telegraph

Earlier this year David Cameron, the former Prime Minister, ordered national security council was told to draw up options to end “spurious claims”, including measures to curb the use of “no win, no fee” arrangements.

Theresa May, his successor, will pursue the plans which are likely to include a requirement that legal aid claimants must have lived in the UK for 12 months. Law firms found to have abused the system could face tougher penalties under the measures being considered.

The Iraq Historical Allegations Team was established in 2010 by Labour in response to allegations of murder, abuse and torture of Iraqis by British service personnel.

When IHAT was launched five years ago, there were just 152 allegations of ill-treatment and unlawful killings. But the latest statistics, published on the Government website, show it is now investigating 1,558 cases, including nearly 288 of unlawful killing.


Elizabeth Truss, the Justice Secretary
Elizabeth Truss, the Justice Secretary, said it will now be for the relevant authorities to decide whether further investigations are required

Credit:
Carl Court/Getty Images

Earlier this year it emerged than 280 soldiers have been handed letters asking for their involvement in alleged incidents during the war.

Many of them were quizzed on their doorsteps, or on military bases where they are still serving, by taxpayer-funded former police officers.

Despite no convictions, Mark Warwick, a former police officer who heads the unit, says it has been “overwhelmed with cases” and murder charges could result.

A single incident can lead to a serviceman enduring five separate investigations and can last for a decade. They include an initial military inquiry, a summons from IHAT and an appearance before an inquest-style body called Iraq Fatality Investigations.


Tony Blair addresses troops in Basra in 2003
Tony Blair addresses troops in Basra in 2003

Credit:
AP Photo

There is also the prospect of a prosecution at the Hague for war crimes, as well as a potential civil claim.  

PIL was instrumental in forcing the Government to hold a £31 million public inquiry into claims that Iraqi farmers were murdered 13 years ago at the Battle of Danny Boy .

The al-Sweady inquiry concluded that the farmers were actually members of a heavily-armed Iraqi militia who had staged an ambush of British troops and that their claims were a product of “deliberate and calculated lies”.

Public Interest Lawyers did not respond to requests for comment yesterday.

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