‘Ambulance chasing’ lawyer Phil Shiner declared bankrupt, weeks after he sold house to Middlesex University law lecturer daughter

Bethany Shiner and sister Leisha both used to work for their dad’s now defunct law firm

Disgraced human rights solicitor Phil Shiner, who was struck off the roll last month and hit with a costs bill of £250,000, has been declared bankrupt.

Interestingly, this news comes just weeks after Shiner reportedly sold his house to his two adult daughters. According to The Telegraph, the once well-respected lawyer sold the Birmingham property to Bethany and Leisha Shiner for £300,000, which they paid for in cash. The newspaper claims this sale took place on 10 January, which is less than one month after Shiner admitted misconduct charges at the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, and one month after he was was struck off.

It’s also been reported his two daughters both at one stage worked for the now defunct law firm Public Interest Lawyers, which their father once owned. His Liverpool Hope University graduate daughter Bethany — whose LinkedIn profile appears to show she acquired her solicitor-advocate status at the firm — is now an associate lecturer at Middlesex University. There, she teaches public law, the English legal system and employment law.

Termed an “ambulance chasing” lawyer by the press, Shiner was struck off over charges of dishonesty. Among other things, he was found to have paid a middleman in Iraq to seek out human rights abuse claims for him to bring against the Ministry of Defence. Crowned Human Rights Lawyer of the Year by Liberty in 2004 and Solicitor of the Year by the Law Society in 2007, Shiner also claimed British soldiers had tortured and executed a number of innocent Iraqi civilians during the battle of Danny Boy, which he described as the “UK equivalent of My Lai.” A £25 million inquiry found his claims were “wholly baseless”.

Shiner’s bankruptcy has thrown into doubt his ability to repay millions of pounds he claimed from the government to pursue these “baseless” claims. Lawyers for the Solicitors Regulation Authority estimate Shiner had been paid £3.2 million by the Legal Aid Agency.

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31 Comments

Anonymous

I dare say he’s not actually bankrupt, just managed to hide his money so that he won’t have to repay anything.

(6)(1)
Anonymous

Yeah you win more money if you risk more, so therefore whoever dares, wins.

Regards
Nick

(12)(0)
Anonymous

Nothing concrete, no. But seeing as I’m not formally accusing him of anything, or charging him with a crime, I don’t think I need any.

What I am saying is that, to my mind, there is a discrepancy between the amount of money he has earned over the course of his career, the money (in cash) that he has earned from the sale of his house, and the fact that he is now suddenly bankrupt shortly after he has been struck off and is being faced with a massive costs bill. That, in addition to his prior record as essentially a liar and a fraud, makes me suspect.

Again, not that I’m formally accusing him of any wrongdoing, of course.

(6)(0)
Anonymous

You’re just informally accusing him so that’s all right then.

(1)(6)
Former insolvency lawyer

I am not a fan of Phil but you are a brave soul and must have deep pockets. What you allege, “hiding his assets” from the trustee in bankruptcy, is defamation if untrue. It’s just as well you are “anonymous” or Phil might seek redress. For what it’s worth, the trustee will look at his bank statements and all his interests in property (including any divestments) for the last 5 years. Chapter vi of the Insolvency Act 1986 sets out the offences of fraudulent concealment or disposal of property and making false statement to the trustee, all of which would likely result in imprisonment.

(1)(5)
Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(6)(1)
Lamia

Did you not read the article. He received £300,000 in cash from selling his house to his daughters, only a few weeks ago. He is now claiming he has no money. Only a Loony Legal Land would you find people who ‘can’t’ see anything wrong with that.

Shiner is a crook as well as a traitor, and he belongs behind bars. He has cost this country tens of millions of pounds and provided comfort and encouragement to fraudsters and terrorists. He more than any other individual in this country fed the narrative that Islamic terrorism was simply a response to western murder and abuses, the same narrative that led hundreds of British youths to go to Iraq and Syria to rape, torture and murder innocents, Muslim and non-Muslim, and indeed to carry out terrorist attacks at home. Why are you an apologist for the evil creep?

(11)(3)
Anonymous

I don’t want to defend the guy based on having no information, but there’s not necessarily an inconsistency between obtaining £300K a few weeks ago and having no cash now.

People who find themselves with cash flow problems, and who ultimately end up bankrupt, are exactly the sort of people who make efforts to liquidate assets… Like selling houses.

Unless there’s an under-value transaction going on here, there’s nothing inherently odd about transforming a real estate asset worth £300K into £300K cash.

But maybe I’m living in “Loony Legal Land” (I’m a solicitor).

(7)(1)
Anonymous

No way to talk about Tim Farron. You’re out of order, sunshine

(2)(0)
Anonymous

It has been a while since I delved into insolvency work, but I imagine the IP will be reviewing that transaction to ensure it was at value and following the cash trail.

I don’t think this is surprising in the slightest to be honest, it was an inevitable outcome.

I think there is a discussion to be had about the SRA’s costs regime; it does seem quite arbitrary.

(6)(0)
Anonymous

Of note, taken from his Daughter’s LinkedIn Page:

Activities and Societies: Dissertation paper entitled “A qualitative analysis of court martial scripts regarding the abuse and subsequent death of Iraqi civilians under British custody.” This work attracted an award from the University.

(5)(2)
Anonymous

The creditors ought to chase after the house.

His novelty spectacles may well raise a bit of money in an auction, if they can find some champagne socialist lawyers who want a keepsake.

(7)(0)
Lamia

“Crowned Human Rights Lawyer of the Year by Liberty in 2004 and Solicitor of the Year by the Law Society in 2007”

Yes, let’s not forget that for a long time he was a hero of the legal industry and of supposed ‘human rights’ advocates, including Baroness Chakrabarti, Baroness Kennedy, the Guardian and the Independent. He was a hero for you wjile he was skimming the public public and painting his own country’s soldiers as was criminals.

He has not only falsely demonised the British armed forces and thus contributed to undermining the security of this country, he has also cost this country tens of millions of ponds chasing his lies. And then judges and ‘leading’ lawyers moan that the public don’t respect them.

The individuals and institutions who supported this evil clown should be held financially liable for the damage. And no lawyer in this country should receive security protection ever again.

(6)(3)
Anonymous

I feel so bad for all the soldiers / military personnel and their families who were caught up in all these fake allegations by Shiner – to satisfy his ego and greed.

“A £25 million pound enquiry found his claims ‘wholly baseless’ ”

– So he took the absolute piss out of the public purse too. £25 million that could have gone towards NHS treatments (reading in my local paper that the local cancer ward faces cutbacks, which broke my heart), schools, roads, pensions, etc……

Speechless.

(3)(1)
Sally Helpful

I recommend the bloke out of the King’s Speech, he’s good with that sort of thing 🙂

(3)(1)
Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(3)(3)
Anonymous

Loooolll – Ross kemp on extras – super army soldier!!

(0)(0)
Anonymous

Former Insolvency Lawyer above – stop showing off and talking rubbish….There is a defence to Libel or Slander known as “Fair Comment”.

This will be what Legal Cheek themselves are relying on in respect of what is known as the “sting” of their article and why they referred to the dishonesty findings against Shiner.

It will also be why the comments have not been deleted or moderated. Learn how to improve your personality and once you have done that, practice, practice, practice. That would be my advice to you !

(1)(0)
Anonymous

There’s a difference between making a comment and making a factual assertion surely?

(0)(0)
Anonymous

I dare say he’s not actually bankrupt, just managed to hide his money so that he won’t have to repay anything.
5 votes for, 1 vote against, at the moment

The article says that the SRA estimate he earned 3.2 million in fees and that he sold his house, to his daughters, not on the open market, for £300k.
Selling his house to his daughters is fair comment on hiding his money, I would suggest. If it was only worth £300 k , his £3.2 million was not spent on his house, was it ?
It may also be fair comment “I dare say” that if he has done this kind of thing – selling to daughters once – he may have done similar transactions too.

Imagine he comes to you and says I think I have been defamed on Legal Cheek. Some commentator has accused me of hiding my money because I sold my house to my daughters when there were (according to the sting of the article) measures underway for the government to reclaim some of the Legal Aid it paid my firm for the baseless Danny Boy soldier abuse claims.

Would your advice really be “Well, I think that commentator better have deep pockets ! I’ll postpone my other work for you, sign this no win no fee agreement and we’ll issue a pre action protocol letter to Legal cheek forthwith…”

Or would it be “It sounds like Fair Comment to me. If you are so vexed, can you consider running a story in the press that you are the scapegoat for soldiers abusing Iraqis. The real story was too big, they had to shoot the messenger on a technicality etc. If the latter, that is too big a fish for me to fry “

(0)(0)
Anonymous

Where there investigations carried out into other members of this firm ? I can’t accept that he did all the bad stuff by himself and nobody else suspected anything.

(0)(0)

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