Hillsborough lawyers face the solicitors’ watchdog

Liverpool v Manchester United tomorrow is the first game at Anfield since the Hillsborough Independent Panel (HIP) report was published earlier this month. It is set to bring an element of closure to families of the spectators who died at the stadium tragedy in 1989 – especially if the rumoured tribute by United fans takes place.

But whatever happens on Merseyside at the weekend, there will still be individuals on the hook, 23 years after the disaster that killed 96 Liverpool fans at the FA Cup semi-final in Sheffield.

Peter Metcalf of Squire Sanders UK legacy firm Hammond Suddards, the solicitor to South Yorkshire Police in the aftermath of the tragedy, was linked to the cover-up exposed in the HIP report that claimed the police changed witness statements related to the disaster. The SRA has launched an investigation into the lawyers involved in the fallout, with Douglas Fraser of North West firm Silverman Livermore also expected to be under the eye of the legal watchdog after the HIP attributed a comment about Hillsborough families wanting “15 minutes of fame” from the inquests to him.

The SRA has made the rare move of confirming it is investigating the case, arguing that the contents of the HIP report “impact on the public’s confidence in the legal profession”. The watchdog’s move comes in advance of a formal complaint, which was bound to come.

For more reaction on this, read: Richard Moorhead, Faculty of Laws, UCL: Hillsborough and SYPs Lawyers, Daniel Bennett, Doughty Street Chambers: 40,000 fans and I know the truth, and Julian Knowles QC, Matrix Chambers: Families of the 96 dead vindicated

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