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

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By Katie King on

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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