Consortia continue fight to handle 'Gulf War' action

THE TWO consortia fighting it out to help hundreds of Gulf War Syndrome sufferers sue the Government for negligence have renewed their battle to win the contract to handle the action.

Tendering for the generic legal aid contract to run the multi-party action has started afresh after a landmark High Court decision to quash the board's first attempt to reach a decision last September.

The Legal Aid Board had threatened to appeal against Mr Justice Ognall's February ruling in favour of the judicial review action brought by Manchester firm Donn & Co.

But a spokeswoman said it had decided an appeal “would only further delay the claims”.

She said a new committee had been convened in order to reconsider the bids by the Donn & Co-led group and the group being led by the King's Lynn practice Dawbarns, which originally won the contract.

A decision is expected by the middle of the month.

Meanwhile, Donn & Co partner Hilary Meredith, whose Gulf War Solicitors Action Group now has around 900 veterans on its books, has welcomed the findings of a report which reveals evidence of nerve damage among victims of the syndrome.

She described the study, by neurologist Dr Goran Jamal, as a “major breakthrough”.

She said: “Nineteen of my clients have already died.

“How many more Gulf War veterans and their families have to suffer before the Government recognises the need for urgent action?”