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Peer slams lawyer fees.

Legal firms must be shamed into returning fees taken out of miners' compensation, a Labour peer was telling the Prime Minister today.

Lord Lofthouse, who was presenting a report to Downing Street on the practice, said it was "appalling" individuals were not getting full payouts.

The Chronicle revealed last week how six North East law firms have pocketed more than pounds 250m in fees for taking on miners' compensation cases.

Lord Lofthouse, a former miner, said he had discovered two firms had made pounds 100m out of the official Government-paid fees for taking cases.

He said: "They haven't been satisfied with that. They've been taking money out of miners' compensation.

"Some of them have been keeping it themselves I understand, and others have been passing it on to claim farmers, that's people that's been directing these poor, sick, unfortunate, elderly miners to these solicitors and they've been having the rake off. It is appalling."

Ian Lavery, chairman of the National Union of Mineworkers, said lawyers had "jumped on the gravy train".
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Apr 25, 2007
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