A WILMLSOW solicitor is preparing to help military personnel investigated for alleged crimes against Iraqi civilians to sue the Ministry of Defence.

Hilary Meredith Solicitors is set to take a landmark legal action against the MoD over its handling of allegations of brutality and abuses by soldiers from 2003 to 2009.

The Water Lane firm is acting for services personnel, veterans and their families, arguing the MoD breached its duty of care.

The £60million Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT) probe was set up in 2010 to pursue allegations of wrongdoing against civilians during the Iraq War.

During that period, a number of law firms made more than 3,500 allegations against the British military – most notably Phil Shiner’s Birmingham firm Public Interest Lawyers.

Many of the claims brought were settled by the MoD, but Shiner was struck off in 2017 – the same year that IHAT inquiry was closed – having been found guilty of misconduct and dishonesty relating to false abuse claims against troops.

Company founder Hilary, who is also a visiting professor of law and veterans’ affairs at the University of Chester, said the legal action against the MoD followed months of discussions with potential claimants.

She said: “The MoD has clearly breached the duty of care it owes to our service personnel and veterans.

“The conduct of the Iraq Historic Allegations Team is one of the most shameful episodes in modern legal history.  Thousands of British soldiers were falsely accused of war crimes.  The whole investigation was a witch hunt based on deceit.”

“They owe a duty of care in law, under the military covenant, morally and ethically to stand by those who serve. Instead, they allowed IHAT to pursue innocent troops with false evidence of vile war crimes.

“The falsely accused have paid a huge price – shattered lives, broken marriages, ruined finances, stalled careers, poor mental and physical health.”