August 16, 2017
Martyn Day thrives on a fight.
His critics accuse him of being a “tank chaser” for bringing hundreds of lawsuits against the British army over its actions in Iraq and Afghanistan. But others say Mr Day and Leigh Day, the law firm he co-founded in 1987, have pioneered class compensation lawsuits while other law firms have backed away.
Mr Day’s most notable successes include winning a £55m out-of-court settlement from oil group Royal Dutch Shell over two oil spills that affected thousands of Nigerian fishermen and a £19.9m compensation award from the UK government on behalf of Kenyans tortured by British troops in the 1950s.
“I’ve always liked those big fights, those big challenges,” he said in a recent interview with the Financial Times. “I started off doing personal injury cases but I really like a good fight.”
Earlier this year, Mr Day, 60, faced the fight of his career when he, two colleagues and Leigh Day were charged with professional misconduct for their handling of claims that British troops had tortured Iraqi civilians.