State comptroller slams lawyers charging exorbitant fees to wounded soldiers, civilians

Jeremy Sharon is The Times of Israel’s legal affairs and settlements reporter

Illustrative: President Isaac Herzog visits wounded soldiers at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv on November 8, 2023. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)
Illustrative: President Isaac Herzog visits wounded soldiers at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv on November 8, 2023. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)

State Comptroller Matanyahu Englman calls on the justice, defense, finance and social welfare ministers to cap the fees of lawyers representing wounded IDF soldiers and those wounded in terror attacks, after reports that some of them are being exploited by unscrupulous legal practitioners.

Englman tells the ministers in a letter that in recent weeks some lawyers have been turning up in hospitals and signing up injured soldiers and civilians as clients, ostensibly to represent them in legal proceedings to obtain compensation and welfare payments and charging them exorbitant fees to do so.

In most cases, such people do not even need legal representation and receive such payments automatically, but even when that is not the case lawyers engaging in these practices have been heavily overcharging, the state comptroller charges.

“Ever since October 7… there have been thousands of injured soldiers and civilians, and that number is growing as the war continues,” writes Englman.

“This tough reality requires a swift solution… which will stop further harm to those injured people who have contributed their bodies and souls for the sake of the country, and allow to receive their full rights without needing to give over a considerable portion of the money owed to them, paid from the state treasury, to other parties, some of whom seek to take advantage of their plight,” he continues.

The state comptroller calls on the ministers in question to regulate this field, in particular by establishing a specific, supervised fee for legal services for such clients.

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