- Leigh Day has reportedly suspended two paralegals pending an investigation
- The pair are accused of seeking clients among the victims of the Grenfell fire
- They are accused posting flyers adverising their services at the fire scene
- A spokesperson for the company said they would never authorise such action
Ross Parker For The Daily Mail
A controversial law firm has been accused of ambulance-chasing survivors of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.
Leigh Day has reportedly suspended two paralegals after they allegedly touted for business among survivors of the blaze.
The firm has begun an internal investigation after The Times reported that two members of staff had put posters up at the scene, advertising their services.
A controversial legal company has been accused of ambulance chasing victims of the Grenell Tower tragedy by flyposting adverts offering their services near the disaster scene
Bosses at the company, which championed claims by civilians of mistreatment at the hands of British troops during the Iraq conflict, said they were completely unaware of the alleged activity.
A poster that offered to ‘kick-start’ insurance claims on behalf of those who had their lives shattered by the fire listed the names Harmita Rai and Sejal Sachania, who both work for Leigh Day. Details on the posters also reportedly claimed that the company would contact embassies and draft letters for survivors in need legal assistance.
The poster was allegedly put up among pictures and tributes to the dead and missing close to the tower block. It offered ‘free legal support’ and immigration advice. ‘Our aim is to help you kickstart any potential insurance claims and review any complex documents,’ it read.
Email addresses for Miss Rai and Miss Sachania were different from their work contact details.
A disclaimer on the poster read: ‘We do not charge for the assistance we provide. However a third party may charge.’
The poster said they would be at the Westway Sports Centre, where the relief effort was based, on June 20 at 7pm. It is understood to be under examination by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner.
The emergence of the poster will spark fears that those who have lost their homes and possessions in the blaze could fall prey to unethical, ambulance-chasing legal firms.
Leigh Day solicitors Anna Crowther, left, Martyn Day, centre , and Sapna Malik, right, were cleared of any wrongdoing concerning their work on torture allegations against British troops in Iraq. The trio were brought before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal
Officials have said that at least 80 people died in the fire, with the number of dead expected to rise further. A criminal investigation has been opened by authorities.
The North Kensington Law Centre, which is reportedly helping more than 100 survivors, told The Times: ‘We heard quite a lot of reports of ambulance-chasing in the aftermath of the fire. People were being told, “You need a lawyer ASAP, here’s the form, sign here”.’
Leigh Day, which has represented hundreds of suspected Iraqi insurgents since the end of the Iraq War, was accused of wrongly drumming up cases against troops, causing them ‘years of torment’.
It was alleged the firm pursued false allegations, despite having evidence the accusers were lying, in a business that raked in £9.6million.
Leigh Day solicitors Martyn Day, Sapna Malik and Anna Crowther were cleared of any wrongdoing at a tribunal last month.
Last night, a spokesman from Leigh Day said: ‘Leigh Day had no prior knowledge of the posters displayed around the Grenfell Tower.
‘As soon as the posters were brought to our attention, a full internal investigation was commenced. The two individuals concerned have been suspended.
‘Leigh Day would never have given authority for the posters or their display and we are taking this matter extremely seriously.’
Last night, an insurance agent was also said to have been knocking on doors to assist with claims.