Post Office Scandal: Compensation Claims
Post Office Horizon IT Scandal
The Post Office Horizon Scandal refers to a huge injustice which saw the lives of hundreds, possibly thousands, of sub-postmasters affected when discrepancies were caused in accounts due to a faulty IT system.
Hudgell Solicitors has brought together a highly-experienced team of lawyers working alongside campaigners and politicians to explore the potential for new civil claims on behalf of those who were affected, but not part of the first initial group damages settlement in December 2019.
We have also instructed one of the UK’s leading appellant barristers, Tim Moloney QC of Doughty Street Chambers, as we seek to help all who were wrongly prosecuted to overturn their convictions.
Advising potential applicants to the Historical Shortfall Scheme
Our Executive Chairman Neil Hudgell is advising more than 100 people who have turned to Hudgell Solicitors for support with applying to the newly established Historical Shortfall Scheme.
As yet, further clarity is being sought by our team on a number of key issues to ensure we can best advise our clients who are yet to see any form of legal address and are looking towards this scheme having not being involved in the group action which concluded last December.
Below is some information on next steps and how to get in touch with us. We have also set out answers to the most common questions that are being asked of us at this time and link through to lots of useful articles which offer further information on our involvement.
For further details on making a possible Post Office Horizon compensation claim, register your interest today at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are also supporting people with their Conviction Appeals.
"Specialist forensic accountants who investigated Post Office Horizon IT system working with lawyers seeking to overturn convictions"Read Full Story
"Reassurances from Post Office over fairness of its Historic Shortfall Scheme – but for me the jury is still out"Read Full Story
"Lawyers in ‘crucial evidence gathering’ period in bid to have subpostmasters convictions overturned"Read Full Story
Frequently Asked Questions
Sub-postmasters reported problems with the software from the very start but it was not until December 2019, following a High Court ruling, that its failings were fully exposed.
High Court Judge Mr Justice Peter Fraser ruled that the original version of Horizon was not “remotely robust”, leading to a “significant and material risk” of branch accounts suffering from “bugs, errors and defects”. As a result of the case, the Post Office agreed to pay a £58million damages settlement to a group of 550 sub-postmasters who’d collectively brought a legal case against it.
Despite the group settlement, many other former and current sub-postmasters who were affected have still not had access to any form of legal redress, having either missed the deadline to be part of the action, or not been aware that there was an opportunity to seek compensation. Hudgell Solicitors is currently speaking to a number of others who suffered loss as a result of this scandal and have not received any damages.
We are working with Karl Turner MP, who is campaigning and raising the issue in Government, to provide legal advice and to explore their options with regard to seeking possible legal redress.
The Post Office has recently launched a scheme to compensate those who have suffered loss as a result of the Horizon failings. The Historical Shortfall Scheme can be found at http://www.onepostoffice.co.uk/scheme
We are currently reviewing the detail of the scheme and qualifying criteria and will advise further shortly.
In addition we are exploring separate civil redress for effected people.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has also indicated that the matter is likely to be subject to a Public Inquiry.
The Post Office is a prosecuting authority in its own right and does not have to go through the Crown Prosecution Service. It was claimed as part of the High Court hearing that the Post Office made little effort to investigate cases and instead concentrated all its efforts on recovering the money.
Now, more than 50 criminal convictions of former sub-postmasters have/are being reviewed by the Criminal Cases Review Commission, which investigates possible miscarriages of justice and referred on to the Court of Appeal. The Post Office says it is ‘'assisting to the fullest extent'’ with inquiries into cases of those convicted of theft and fraud.
As already mentioned, details of a compensation scheme have just been released. In addition it may be possible to issue claims in the civil courts for such as reputational damage caused by being wrongly accused, any physical and mental illnesses linked to unfair treatment by the Post Office, financial losses and any wrongful convictions would be areas considered. If criminal convictions are overturned it may also be possible to pursue a claim in damages for malicious prosecution .
Our advice is to contact our team as soon as possible. We are keen to collectively gather as much evidence as possible.
At Hudgell Solicitors, we are currently offering free initial advice to anyone affected.
We will discuss your individual situation and the impact it had on your life and your family. Our lawyers are monitoring the situation daily to enable us to make a decision on the best course of action for those who turn to us for assistance. As we are working with Karl Turner MP, we are able to ensure we have an insight into developments in Parliament with regards to this hugely important matter for justice.