- Solicitor Zainab Al Qurnawi is working for the Iraq Fatality Investigations
- She is paid £150 an hour to represent the families of Iraqis who have launched claims against the UK
- The probe's chairman has complained about 'inordinate' costs
- Investigation involves cases where the individual troops were cleared of criminal wrongdoing
Lawyer: Zainab Al Qurnawi is representing the families of Iraqis who have launched claims of mistreatment against the British military
An Iraqi lawyer is being paid £150 an hour by the Government to advise families who have launched claims of mistreatment against British troops, it has emerged.
British-trained Zainab Al Qurnawi is representing the families of Iraqi civilians who were allegedly wrongfully killed during the Western invasion of the country.
She is claiming money from the State as part of the investigation into UK soldiers - even though all of the troops involved have been cleared of any wrongdoing.
Ms Al Qurnawi is one of the lawyers attached to the Iraq Fatality Investigations, a body set up to investigate the circumstances surrounding the deaths after a court ruled that a previous tribunal was not compatible with human rights law.
The panel, which is headed by a retired judge, pays her £150 for every hour of work.
Last year chairman Sir George Newman complained about the 'inordinate' among of resources being spent on the investigation.
Ms Al Qurnawi told The Sun: 'Sir George did raise a query as to the number of hours spent on one aspect of the case. I provided a full explanation and the invoice was approved.'
The solicitor runs QC Law Firm, which is based in Basra, the Iraqi city which was under the command of the British authorities for four years after the 2003 invasion.
She was brought up and educated in Iraq, but moved to Britain a year ago to qualify as a solicitor practising English law.
During her time in the UK, Ms Al Qurnawi worked for global law firm Clyde & Co, Shell and J.P. Morgan, before returning to her home country two years ago.
She boasts that she is 'one of the few Iraqi-qualified lawyers in both the common law and the civil law systems' - meaning that few other lawyers are likely to be available to represent the Iraqi families seeking compensation from the UK.
Her firm says that it strives to provide 'Rolls-Royce services at Toyota prices', adding: 'Our ultimate goal is to be pragmatic and commercial.'
Around 4,000 claims of mistreatment have been lodged against British troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, costing the Government more than £30million so far.
The allegations were initially investigated by the Iraq Historic Allegations Team, an independent agency within the Ministry of Defence.
However, three years ago the High Court ruled that IHAT did not meet the requirements of the European Convention on Human Rights in all cases.
In response, the Iraq Fatality Investigations panel was set up to probe a small number of cases which require a full investigation but do not involve criminal prosecutions.
It has so far completed probes into two cases, and is currently considering two further investigations into the deaths of Iraqi men who died after encounters with British soldiers during the months after the Western invasion.