Disgraced lawyer declared bankrupt

The disgraced Birmingham solicitor struck off after being found guilty of misconduct for his role in an Iraq war crimes inquiry that collapsed has been declared bankrupt.

Phil Shiner, who headed up city-based Public Interest Lawyers Ltd, could not afford to pay for legal representation at a Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal last month.

The tribunal ordered the solicitor to pay interim costs of £250,000 after he admitted nine counts of acting without integrity and one of acting recklessly, in relation to his conduct during the Al-Sweady inquiry which alleged the unlawful killing and ill treatment of Iraqi nationals by British troops in Iraq in 2004.

The prosecution brought by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), found allegations of misconduct when representing claims against British soldiers – including acting dishonestly – proven to the criminal standard of proof.

When the £25m inquiry reported in December 2014 it found the unlawful killing and ill treatment claims to be “deliberate lies”.

Details of the 60-year-old’s bankruptcy are published on The Insolvency Service’s website. It states the automatic discharge of the bankruptcy will be March 14, 2018.

The bankruptcy is also likely to prevent the Ministry of Defence from recovering money it may be entitled to claim back from Shiner.

Meanwhile, the fate of Shiner’s former law firm is still unclear.

Companies House records show him still being listed as an active director of Public Interest Lawyers Ltd; a position he has held since appointment on August 19, 2009.

A notice published in The Gazette on March 14 said the firm, based in Hylton Street, Birmingham, was due to be dissolved and this would take effect within two months of that date unless cause was shown to the contrary.

However, a further notice was published on Saturday stating that the move to strike off the company was on hold after an objection to the order had been lodged.