Sir Wyn Williams gives provisional view on compensation schemes for sub-postmasters

Inquiry to bring forward hearings on compensation to July 2022

The Chair of the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry, Sir Wyn Williams, has today set out his provisional view on compensation for prosecuted subpostmasters, and announced that he will bring forward hearings on compensation issues which he says “need to be addressed sooner rather than later”. 

This follows his request of 21 March for Core Participants of the Inquiry to respond to him on the issue of compensation after recent Human Impact Hearings brought to the fore certain issues concerning eligibility for compensation faced by some subpostmasters. The Chair has considered responses from Post Office Limited, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and those made on behalf of the clients of Hudgell Solicitors, all of which are published here today. 

In his provisional view, published today, Sir Wyn Williams notes that details are yet to be made public on how the Government's announcement of 22 March 2022 on compensation for members of the Group Litigation Order will be translated into a remediation scheme or mechanism for making awards of additional compensation.  

Giving his provisional view on subpostmasters whose interim payments are disputed and whose appeals were conceded by the Post Office on the grounds that it would not be in the public interest to retry their cases, the Chair states “fairness demands that Post Office Limited should not be the final arbiter of whether an interim or final payment of compensation should be made", recommending that such disputes should be determined by an independent person or panel. 

He also highlights that “apparently, little progress is being made towards assessing final compensation for sub-postmasters whose convictions have been quashed in accordance with the Minister’s announcement of 14 December 2021”.  

In light of concerns raised by Howe + Co and Hudgell Solicitors on behalf of former subpostmasters and subpostmistresses, the Chair has also announced today that he will hold a two-day hearing between 4 and 15 July 2022 at which he intends to hear submissions on issues relating to compensation and allow legal representatives of the Core Participants to address the provisional view he has outlined today.  

Read the Provisional View of the Chair on Compensation Issues relating to Prosecuted Sub-postmasters in full here.

The following documents have also been published today alongside this statement:

  • Submission from Post Office Limited on compensation eligibility here

  • Submission from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on compensation eligibility here

  • Submission from Hudgell Solicitors on compensation eligibility here 

Read the Chair’s Announcement of Hearing to address Issues of Compensation here

The following documents have also been published today alongside this announcement:

  • Letter to Chair from Hudgell Solicitors regarding Historical Shortfall Scheme here
  • Letter to Chair from Howe + Co regarding Historical Shortfall Scheme here