Birmingham & Black Country

Iraq cases lawyer Phil Shiner declared bankrupt

Phil Shiner - archive image Image copyright LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images
Image caption Phil Shiner was struck off in February

A lawyer who brought false claims against Iraq War veterans has been declared bankrupt.

Phil Shiner was struck off after being found to have acted dishonestly in bringing murder and torture claims against British war veterans.

He ran the now-defunct Public Interest Lawyers (PIL) and had 12 charges of misconduct proved against him.

The Insolvency Service website states Mr Shiner, 60, from Birmingham, was made bankrupt on Tuesday.

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The solicitor had denied or partially admitted the charges, which were found proved against him by a panel of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. He was struck off in February.

A property in Birmingham, which the Insolvency Service lists as his address, was transferred to his daughters for £300,000 in January.

The service said the sale of the house and any other transfer of assets would be subject to investigation to ensure his creditors recoup as much of the money owed to them as possible.

An Insolvency Service spokesman said: "We would want to know what has happened to any money received for the house. The Official Receiver checks all transactions over a five-year period before bankruptcy. We would investigate that sale."

Image copyright Google Maps
Image caption A property in Selly Park in Birmingham, which the Insolvency Service lists as his address, was transferred to his daughters for £300,000 in January
Image copyright MOD
Image caption The Ministry of Defence has paid out more than £100m on legal costs and compensation linked to the war in Iraq (generic image above of British troops in Iraq)

In five of the charges, he was found to have acted dishonestly, including agreeing to pay "sweeteners" to a fixer, understood to be Abu Jamal, to persuade him to change his evidence to the £31m Al-Sweady Inquiry.

Investigations that originated from Mr Shiner and the PIL law firm would be assessed and a decision reached over which cases should no longer be pursued, the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (Ihat) said.

Ihat is due to close this summer. It is independent of the military chain of command for the purposes of its investigations, the government services website said.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has paid out more than £100m on legal costs and compensation linked to the war in Iraq, with a large proportion of this over allegations brought by PIL.

An MoD spokesman said: "The evidence we submitted on Phil Shiner's abuse of our legal system saw him struck off and, with his conduct discredited, we announced the closure of Ihat.

"We intend to recover as much as possible from defending these claims and await the Solicitors' Disciplinary Tribunal full decision before deciding our next steps."

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