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Diane Abbott warns of 'ambulance-chasing' lawyers pursuing Grenfell victims

Diane Abbott warns of 'ambulance-chasing' lawyers pursuing Grenfell victims

John Ashmore

2 min read

Diane Abbott has attacked “ambulance chasing” law firms after claims some companies are targeting victims of the Grenfell Tower fire.


The Shadow Home Secretary said there had been a number of complaints, including survivors saying they were made to feel “intimidated” into signing up for legal representation.

Earlier this month, law firm Leigh Day suspended two of its paralegals for putting up a poster offering legal support to victims.

In an email addressed to members of the Law Society and the Bar Council, Ms Abbott said she was not accusing any particular firm, but warned about the risk of victims being “coerced”.

“Whilst at this stage it is not clear on which matters these individuals have been advised that they need legal representation, it is evident that legal representation will be required at some point and to this end, it is entirely for those affected by this tragedy to instruct the legal professional of their choice without being coerced into instructing firms who are clearly misleading people whilst they are extremely vulnerable.

“I am sure that we all agree that this type of ‘ambulance chasing’ behaviour is disgraceful and should not be tolerated in any circumstance.

“We are aware that two paralegals have been suspended following such allegations and I had initially believed that this was the end of the matter, however complaints have persisted and I offered to send this letter in an attempt to ensure that those affected by this have support and a voice where their concerns are raised at the highest level.”

TASKFORCE

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid has announced details of the Grenfell Recovery Taskforce, a new group set up by the Government to support Kensington and Chelsea council with the aftermath of the disaster.

The taskforce is made up of: Jane Scott, the leader of Wiltshire council; Javed Khan, the head of charity Barnardo’s; Chris Wood, a partner at Altair housing consultancy and Aftab Chughtai, the chair of the West Midlands Police independent advisory group.

“I am determined that everything possible is done to support the local community following the disaster,” Mr Javid said.

“This includes ensuring an effective recovery plan is developed that takes into account the views of the local community. The new Taskforce has extensive experience in this area and will provide the council with the expertise needed to deliver this important work.”

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