Hillsborough disaster lawyer Elkan Abrahamson granted freedom of the city of Liverpool

Elkan Abrahamson represented more than 20 of the families who lost loved ones in the tragedy. Credit: Liverpool Echo

A lawyer who represented many of the Hillsborough families was granted the freedom of the city in a moving ceremony at Liverpool Town Hall.Elkan Abrahamson first became involved with the Hillsborough campaign after being approached by Anne Williams, who lost her 15-year-old son Kevin at the FA Cup semi-final in 1989.After meeting with the Hillsborough Justice Campaign, he represented more than 20 of the families who lost loved ones in the tragedy in the Hillsborough inquests.

He was a key member of the legal team that successfully argued the 96 victims of the 1989 disaster were unlawfully killed in 2016.In 2021 a coroner ruled that Andrew Devine, 55, who died 32 years after suffering severe and irreversible brain damage in the Hillsborough tragedy, was unlawfully killed, and was therefore legally the 97th victim of the disaster.

The city formally recognised Mr Abrahamson's hard work, dedication and compassion for the Hillsborough families with the highest honour the city can bestow.

The council committee tasked with approving the honour unanimously agreed to approve his nomination.

The 97 victims of the Hillsborough Disaster.

Mr Abrahamson said it was a "great honour" to be granted freedom of the city, "particularly because it's a local honour."

He added: "It's my city - the city I was born and bred in - so that itself is really important."Being from Liverpool, he has a deep emotional involvement with the tragedy, which helped shape his approach to his work with the families.He said: "You're trained as a lawyer to be detached and objective and unemotional, and sometimes that's to the detriment of the process. Traditional teaching says: don't be swayed by your emotions, you just have to look at the facts."But I think sometimes - especially when people die and there are tragedies - you shouldn't keep emotion out of the process, and it should be allowed to enter the judicial process in particular."

The Hillsborough lawyer was granted freedom of the city of Liverpool. Credit: Liverpool Echo

Mr Abrahamson's work has seen him play an instrumental role in getting justice for citizens of Liverpool and beyond for over 40 years.

In addition to his work supporting the Hillsborough families, he worked with those wrongly arrested in disturbances following the Toxteth uprisings and the families impacted by the Birmingham pub bombings and Manchester Arena bombing.

He is also currently working with the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice Group in the Covid inquiry.He is continuing to push for the passing of a Hillsborough Law, which would create a legal duty of candour on public authorities and officials to tell the truth and proactively cooperate with official investigations and inquiries.

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