The Solicitors Regulation Authority has said that it has not closed its investigation into the role of lawyers involved in legal proceedings following the 1989 Hillsborough disaster. It is approaching 10 years since the solicitors’ regulator launched enquiries into the aftermath of the football stadium tragedy, at which 97 people died. 

No solicitor has been prosecuted, but the SRA today confirmed that the investigation is still ongoing, having been on hold during criminal proceedings.

Peter Metcalf, the solicitor for South Yorkshire Police in the Hillsborough inquiry, was last year cleared of attempting to pervert the course of justice when Mr Justice William Davis ruled he had no case to answer. The judge said solicitors may be in a position where they realise a court is acting on a false basis, but providing they do not contribute to any misapprehension, they were not under a duty to correct the court.

There is no indication at the moment of the scope of the SRA’s ongoing probe, or how many solicitors are potentially involved, but it is understood complaints have been by victims’ families made about individuals’ conduct.

The SRA investigation was launched in September 2012 following the report of the Hillsborough Independent Panel which was said to have identified ‘serious concerns’ about the conduct of solicitors.

The panel’s report said Metcalf, formerly senior partner with Yorkshire firm Hammond Suddords and now retired, had returned police statements with recommendations for ‘review and alteration’. The report stated that 116 of the 164 statements identified for substantive amendment were changed to remove or alter comments unfavourable to South Yorkshire Police.