Finsbury Park victims offered pro bono legal advice
Police are treating the incident as an act of terrorism
People bereaved and injured following the Finsbury Park terror attack on Monday morning will be offered free legal advice through a panel of London law firms, the Law Society has confirmed.
One person died and 11 were injured after a van drove into a crowd of Muslim worshippers in North London in the early hours 19 June. Police said the man who died was already receiving treatment from members of the public after being taken ill in Seven Sisters Road. It is not yet known if his death was caused by the attack.
Witnesses said the driver shouted: ‘I want to kill all Muslims’, before he was apprehended by onlookers. A 47-year-old man identified as Darren Osborne, from Cardiff, has been arrested for the commission, preparation, or instigation of terrorism including murder and attempted murder.
The panel of law firms was convened by Chancery Lane in the wake of the London Bridge attack just two weeks ago and will operate on a referral basis to make the process as easy as possible for victims of the attack to obtain legal advice.
‘The people caught up in this awful attack will be dealing with enormous personal distress, as are victims of the other recent terrorist attacks,’ said the society’s president, Robert Bourns.
‘We hope free legal advice will assist victims to deal with unforeseen and sometimes complex legal issues that will arise in the weeks and months to come as a result of these dreadful events.’
Victim Support and the Legal Aid Agency will refer victims to the panel. Law firms wishing to volunteer should email: email@example.com.
London firms on the panel will provide legal advice to those needing it as a result of any of the three recent terror attacks on Westminster Bridge and at the Houses of Parliament, London Bridge and Borough Market, or near Finsbury Park Mosque.
Advice for victims of the Manchester Arena attack is available through a separate panel set up by the Manchester Law Society.
Chancery Lane is also said to be ‘taking stock’ and ‘reviewing infrastructure’ in order to support victims of last week’s Grenfell Tower disaster.
‘The legal profession is again demonstrating huge willingness to help and many are already offering free legal advice to those whose lives have been utterly devastated,’ said Bourns.
‘These people will face a different range of legal issues to those affected by terror attacks, and the number of people is also of a completely different magnitude.’
John van der Luit-Drummond is deputy editor of Solicitors Journal