Regulator loses appeal against law firm over Iraq war claims


The high courtroom has rejected a mission with the aid of the regulatory frame for solicitors, against a decision that cleared legal professionals of wrongdoing over their pursuit of torture and homicide claims against British troops in Iraq.

A solicitors disciplinary tribunal (SDT) panel in June’s ultimate 12 months discovered that not one of the allegations leveled on the law company Leigh Day, its co-founder Martyn Day and colleagues Sapna Malik and Anna Crowther have been proved. All denied wrongdoing.

They faced misconduct fees over their dealing with the claims against the Ministry of Defence alleging the mistreatment and illegal killing of captives at Camp Abu Naji after the Battle of Danny Boy in May 2004.

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The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) prosecuted them following the end of the 2014 al-Sweady inquiry, which located the maximum severe claims of murder and torture have been “entirely fake” and the product of “deliberate lies.”

At a hearing in London in July, Timothy Dutton QC, for the SRA, told Lord Justice Davis, Mr. Justice Foskett, and Mr. Justice Holgate that the tribunal’s choice turned notably wrong.

Announcing their selection on Friday to brush aside the SRA’s appeal, Davis said: “There is, ordinary, no right foundation on which the appellate court docket, on hooked up ideas, can legitimately intervene with the evaluation of the evidence and the evaluative judgment of the tribunal on any of the allegations which have been the difficulty of this enchantment.

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“The final result is this court docket unanimously concludes that each one the grounds of appeal fail. The attraction is dismissed.”

After the ruling, Day stated he became “thrilled and relieved.” He said: “The investigations and prosecutions were ongoing for decades, and my best remorse is that it has diverted me from doing the human rights paintings that I love. I am very thrilled that nowadays’s judgment will allow me to position my complete energies lower back into that paintings.”

During the July listening, Dutton told the judges the undertaking turned into recognizing nine allegations and concerned three behavior regions. These have been a February 2008 press convention held by way of Day with the now struck-off solicitor Phil Shiner to publicize his clients’ allegations, a failure regarding the firm’s handling of a list of detainees related to the Shia organization Office of the Martyr al-Sadr (OMS) and monetary preparations whereby clients have been received.

Patricia Robertson QC, for Leigh Day, had argued that Day’s views at the clicking conference were expressly based totally on the evidence to be had on the time, and there have been no mistakes of principle within the locating that he had not acted unreasonably, lost his independence or undermined agree with in the career.

She said the significance of the OMS list was understandably no longer spotted until 2013, and the destruction of a handwritten translation changed into a mistake that others in a position lawyers may want to have made.

A Leigh Day spokesman stated after the ruling: “We are thrilled with these days’ judgment via the divisional court docket. The scale of the SRA’s prosecution meant that for us to combat the costs on a stage playing area, we needed to invest very extensive sums.

“We could have discovered that extremely tough if it had not been for our having respectable coverage cowl. All law corporations must take note. Building on our enjoy, Leigh Day has installation a group specializing in regulatory and disciplinary issues to assist law corporations and person attorneys who discover themselves up against the regulator.”

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