Who is Phil Shiner and where is the Danny Boy lawyer now? – The Sun

TV fans are set to discover the story of Phil Shiner, the Iraq War lawyer who was struck off after accusing UK troops of torturing and killing civilians, in the BBC's new drama Danny Boy.

Here is all you need to know about him ahead of watching the biopic and why he was found guilty of a string of offences.

Who is Phil Shiner?

Shiner, 64, is a former human rights lawyer who led the pursuit of legal claims against British troops for their treatment of Iraqi detainees after the 2003 invasion.

He worked for the now-defunct Public Interest Lawyers (PIL), but controversy surrounded many of his allegations – the most serious of which turned out to be completely untrue.

The disgraced lawyer declared himself bankrupt in 2017.

What did Phil Shiner do?

Shiner claimed UK soldiers captured, tortured and murdered innocent Iraqi civilians after the so-called Battle of Danny Boy near Basra in 2004.

He paid an Iraqi middleman Mazin Younis £500-a-time to find claimants, a practice that is in breach of professional standards.

The dodgy lawyer then struck a deal with Younis to get £1.6million for making up claims against British troops as part of an unscrupulous deal with two law firms. Some were legal aid cases.

After admitting nine allegations of acting without integrity, a further 12 were proved against him.

A three-man disciplinary hearing, chaired by Nicola Lucking, heard British troops had been ambushed by Iraqi insurgents in the Battle of Danny Boy in May 2004.

Soldiers lifted 20 of the dead from the battlefield to be identified and took nine prisoner.

But rumours they tortured and killed many of the dead began to circulate after the bodies were released to families and the captives transferred to Iraqi police.

Shiner was alerted to the allegations by a journalist three years later and secured legal aid funding to bring a judicial review.

But the Al-Sweady report in 2015 found the allegations were “wholly baseless” and “deliberate and calculated lies”.

Andrew Tabachnik, counsel to the Solicitors Regulation Authority, said: “Prof Shiner was prepared to put forward allegations of murder that had no regard for the truth.”

Shiner was struck off the role of solicitors in 2010 after a string of misconduct and dishonesty charges against him were found proved.

When was Phil Shiner's disciplinary hearing?

Shiner's disciplinary hearing was held in 2017.

The tank-chasing lawyer, who failed to turn up for the first day as he was 'too ill', was found guilty of 12 charges of misconduct against him.

Mr Tabachnik said: “The defence is he was under such stress he was not responsible for his actions at the time.”

Shiner has admitted nine counts of behaving without integrity and one of acting recklessly.

He was found guilty of the remaining 12 counts by a three-man panel.

The two-day hearing heard how Shiner thought he was above the law when he brought allegations of murder and torture.

Why has he declared himself bankrupt?

Shiner's most recent accounts showed his business was worth more than £1m, sparking a riddle over where it’s gone.

The details, filed in December 2015, also showed his legal outfit, Public Interest Lawyers, had £190,000 in the bank.

Shiner applied to the Insolvency Service to be officially declared bankrupt in March 2017.

Critics claimed the move was a bid to 'wriggle' out of paying £4m back to taxpayers.

Land Registry documents showed Shiner once owned two properties in Birmingham worth £400,000 and the other £625,000, but transferred one of them to his daughters.

The Legal Aid Agency is aiming to recoup more than £3m – and the MoD “millions” more to cover unneeded costs defending themselves.

Where is Phil Shiner now?

The most recent images of Shiner, released in 2020, show him to be living in a four-bedroom house in the Selly Park area of Birmingham.

When approached by a MailOnline journalist outside his home, the disgraced lawyer said: "I have no comment to make."

Shiner's actions – believed to have cost the tax-payer £31m – have been dramatised in Danny Boy and he is played by Harry Potter star Toby Jones.

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