‘Bureaucratic’ gateway blocks access to discrimination advice – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted September 5th, 2016 in legal aid, legal services, news, pregnancy, select committees, sex discrimination by sally

‘The process for obtaining state-funded legal help in discrimination cases is too bureaucratic, practitioners have told the Gazette, after MPs demanded urgent action to end a ‘shocking’ increase in workplace pregnancy discrimination.’

Full story

Law Society’s Gazette, 2nd September 2016

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

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Modern divorce: the new rules of splitting up – The Guardian

‘The end of the summer holidays is a peak period for breakups. But now couples are looking for fast and amicable ways to avoid being mired in the blame game, will the law finally catch up?’

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The Guardian, 23rd August 2016

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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How to tell a shining knight of a lawyer from an ambulance chaser? – The Guardian

Posted August 17th, 2016 in armed forces, asylum, law firms, legal aid, news, public interest by sally

‘The question takes us straight to this week’s reported news that Phil Shiner’s Public Interest Lawyers is having to close.’

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The Guardian, 16th August 2016

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Hundreds of compensation claims against British soldiers could be abandoned after controversial law firm announces closure – Daily Telegraph

‘Hundreds of compensation claims against British soldiers are likely to be abandoned after a controversial law firm accused of “hounding” troops announced that it is closing.’

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Daily Telegraph, 15th August 2016

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

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Legal aid is a national institution like the NHS, so why is it not properly funded? – The Guardian

Posted August 10th, 2016 in barristers, budgets, costs, fees, legal aid, legal representation, news, solicitors by tracey

‘The media jump on high-profile cases of criminals like Ben Butler and Jennie Gray receiving huge amounts in legal aid. The real outrage is successive governments’ policy to limit access to it.’

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The Guardian, 9th August 2016

Source: www.gaurdian.co.uk

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Anger over legal aid bill for Ellie Butler’s parents – The Guardian

‘The grandfather of murdered six-year-old Ellie Butler has condemned the legal aid granted to her killer father, amid reports the taxpayer picked up a bill of more than £1.5m for his legal expenses.’

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The Guardian, 6th August 2016

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Chief coroner calls for legal aid provision in state-involved inquests – The Guardian

‘Legal aid should be provided for families at inquests in which the government pays for lawyers to represent police officers or other state employees, the chief coroner has recommended.’

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The Guardian, 25th July 2016

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Finance & Divorce Update, July 2016 – Family Law week

‘Edward Heaton, Principal Associate and Jane Booth, Associate, both of Mills & Reeve LLP, analyse the news and case law relating to financial remedies and divorce during June 2016.’

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Family Law Week, 15th July 2016

Source: www.familylawweek.co.uk

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Justice for everyone: another Grayling reform bites the dust – UK Human Rights Blog

‘R (on the application of Public Law Project) v Lord Chancellor [2016] UKSC 39.
Supreme Court bins the Government’s residence test for legal aid as ultra vires: just as the latest non-lawyer assumes the role of Lord Chancellor, the reforms made by the first non-lawyer to assume that role continue to fade away.’

Full story

UK Human Rights Blog, 14th July 2016

Source: www.ukhumanrightsblog.com

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Surrey and others v Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust – WLR Daily

Surrey and others v Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust [2016] EWHC 1598 (QB)

‘Three separate cases involving clinical negligence litigation against the defendant hospital had been proceeding for several years prior to 1 April 2013. Under new legislation coming into force on 1 April 2013, a claimant entering into a conditional fee agreement (“CFA”) from that date would be unable to recover success fees and after the event (“ATE”) insurance premiums from the defendant if successful in the litigation. In each case the claim had initially been advanced with the benefit of legal aid, but in the month prior to 1 April 2013 the claimant’s solicitors, with the agreement of the claimant’s litigation friend, arranged for the legal aid certificate to be discharged and for the claim henceforth to be funded by a CFA to preserve the ability to recover the success fee and ATE premiums. In none of the cases was the litigation friend informed that the consequence would be the loss of the recognised 10% uplift on general damages. In each case the defendant challenged the successful claimant’s bill of costs, in so far as it sought to recover the success fee and the ATE premium, contending that the litigation friend’s decision was based on materially unreasonable advice (by reason of the omission to mention the 10% uplift) and that, since the burden was on the receiving party to establish that a cost was reasonably incurred and it was unknown what decision would have been made had proper advice been given, the doubt as to whether the additional costs were reasonably and proportionately incurred should be resolved in favour of the paying party. The costs judge in each case upheld the defendant’s challenge to those items, holding that the changed funding arrangements were not reasonable. Each claimant appealed, contending that the reasonableness of the decision to change funding had to be objectively assessed, so that the quality of any antecedent advice given to the claimants’ litigation friends was irrelevant.’

WLR Daily, 1st July 2016

Source: www.iclr.co.uk

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Ministry of Justice doubles financial threshold for identifying judicial review backers – Litigation Futures

Posted July 12th, 2016 in consultations, costs, judicial review, legal aid, news, third parties by sally

‘The government has doubled the threshold above which third-party contributors to judicial reviews (JRs) will have to be identified.’

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Litigation Futures, 11th July 2016

Source: www.litigationfutures.com

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Supreme Court to give reasons for allowing appeal over legal aid residence test – Local Government Lawyer

‘The Supreme Court will next week give its reasons as to why it concluded that the Ministry of Justice’s introduction of a residence test for civil legal aid via secondary legislation was unlawful.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 7th July 2016

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

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High Court overturns trio of cost judge rulings over “failing to advise properly” on CFA switches – Litigation Futures

Posted July 5th, 2016 in appeals, costs, fees, law firms, legal aid, news by sally

‘The High Court has overturned three high-profile costs rulings in which Irwin Mitchell lost the right to recover success fees and insurance premiums from defendants after failing to advise on the 10% uplift in general damages before switching clients from legal aid.’

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Litigation Futures, 4th July 2016

Source: www.litigationfutures.com

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Bar Council responds to latest LSB report on legal services market – Bar Council

‘Responding to the Legal Services Board’s latest report Evaluation: Changes in the legal services market 2006/07 – 2014/15 Chairman of the Bar, Chantal-Aimée Doerries QC, said: “The Legal Services Board’s report on changes in the legal services market contains some mixed messages.

Full press release

Bar Council, 4th July 2016

Source: www.barcouncil.org.uk

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‘Gradual fall’ in number of legal aid providers – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted July 1st, 2016 in legal aid, news, statistics by tracey

‘The number of firms providing legal aid is continuing to decline gradually, the government’s latest statistics bulletin suggests.’

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Law Society’s Gazette, 1st July 2016

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

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Legal aid contributions decision to face judicial review – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted June 30th, 2016 in appeals, costs, legal aid, news by tracey

‘The Court of Appeal has granted permission for a judicial review of a Legal Aid Agency decision on capital contributions, urging “meaningful negotiations” between the parties to prevent further costs being incurred for the relatively small sums at stake.’

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Law Society’s Gazette, 28th June 2016

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

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Domestic violence consultation deadline looms – Legal Voice

Posted June 29th, 2016 in consultations, domestic violence, evidence, legal aid, news by sally

‘The Ministry of Justice is undertaking national research as to the fitness for purpose of the legal aid domestic violence (DV) evidence requirements. The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) research follows the earlier successful challenge by Rights of Women (R (Rights of Women) v Secretary of State for Justice [2016] EWCA CIV91).’

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Legal Voice, 29th June 2016

Source: www.legalvoice.org.uk

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Flo Krause: Legal aid cuts have forced me out of my career at the bar – The Guardian

Posted June 29th, 2016 in barristers, budgets, legal aid, news by sally

‘A barrister whose work for prisoners is legendary, spells out why she believes justice should be accessible for all, not just the wealthy.’

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The Guardian, 29th June 2016

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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‘Borderline’ civil cases no longer eligible for legal aid – Law Society’s Gazette

‘Legal aid will no longer be made available for cases with poor or borderline prospects of success that may have received funding, the government has said.’

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Law Society’s Gazette, 25th June 2016

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

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What to expect from the new criminal legal aid contracts – Legal Voice

Posted June 23rd, 2016 in advocacy, contracts, criminal justice, legal aid, news, solicitors by sally

‘Richard Miller explains what may be in store when the new criminal legal aid contracts come into force next year.’

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Legal Voice, 23rd June 2016

Source: www.legalvoice.org.uk

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