Michael Seifert obituary

Solicitor who commited himself to the miners’ cause during their 1984-85 strike

The solicitor Michael Seifert, who has died aged 74, and his firm Seifert Sedley, worked to help Britain’s miners and their leaders through what Arthur Scargill, former president of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), described as “our most difficult period in the past century”.

“The working class have lost a true warrior and I have lost a true friend,” was Scargill’s response to Michael’s death. From the outset of the miners’ strike in 1984, Michael committed himself and his firm to their cause. First to need help were the miners on strike in Nottinghamshire. The local NUM branch opposed the strike and withheld resources. Seifert Sedley lawyers were dispatched to Ollerton Miners’ welfare centre to provide regular free legal advice sessions and to Nottinghamshire magistrates courts to represent the increasing numbers of striking miners who were being arrested. The Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers was galvanised to develop this support.

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