Two Belfast law firms have received apologies over untrue newspaper claims that they made millions of pounds as part of a “witch hunt” into killings by British soldiers.
KRW Law and Madden & Finucane issued libel proceedings after the Mail on Sunday published the allegations about legal aid payments in cases dealing with the Northern Ireland Troubles.
As part of a settlement reached in the case, an apology appeared on the paper’s online edition. It stated: “An article on 17th March 2019 alleged that two law firms, KRW Law and Madden & Finucane, were behind a probe and ‘witch hunt’ into killings by British Troops during the Irish troubles and were secretly receiving millions of pounds in legal aid.
“We acknowledge that these allegations were wrong and we had not intended to impugn the professional integrity or impartiality of either firm who act for clients on all sides of the political and religious divide. We apologise for any unintended suggestion to the contrary.”
Kevin Winters, senior partner in KRW Law, reiterated his determination to protect the firm’s reputation and said the firm would continue to represent individuals “regardless of their political or religious beliefs, without fear or favour”.
“Acting in conflict-related cases is a difficult enough task, without the difficulty being compounded by this type of commentary,” he said.
Madden & Finucane said in a statement that the article was one in a series of “irresponsible newspaper articles, published three days after the decision to prosecute a soldier over the events of Bloody Sunday, with inappropriate comment on live criminal proceedings”.