Bringing the Bar to the Pub: “Pop-up Justice” for the 21st Century? – Littleton Chambers

Posted July 26th, 2016 in courts, litigants in person, news by sally

‘On 30 June 2016, The Times reported on a speech given by Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division of the High Court, to a conference organised by Solicitors for the Elderly. It touched on the possibility of holding court hearings in public places other than court buildings. On the same day, The Daily Mail reported that “[m]akeshift courts could be held in buildings such as pubs or town halls.” Now, many a practitioner (not least myself) has calculated the swiftest route from a judicial tongue-lashing to some alcoholic relief from sanction, but can they really be proposing pub hearings (legal history buffs might like to note that a Court of Piepowders, described by Sir William Blackstone as “the lowest, and at the same time the most expeditious, court of justice known to the law of England”, sat at the Stag and Hounds in Bristol until 1870)? Probably not.’

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Littleton Chambers, 18th July 2016

Source: www.littletonchambers.com

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No Nisi, No Dice – Tanfield Chambers

Posted July 12th, 2016 in appeals, costs, divorce, litigants in person, news by sally

‘In K v K (Financial Remedy Final Order prior to Decree Nisi) 2016 EWFC 23, Cobb J remitted a case for rehearing on the basis that the trial judge had made an order prior to the grant of decree nisi of divorce. The case provides a salutary warning for lawyers about the limits of the Family Court’s powers to correct what was an innocent and – at first glance – merely procedural mistake.’

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Tanfield Chambers, 22nd June 2016

Source: www.tanfieldchambers.co.uk

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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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To recuse or not? – Ghadami v Bloomfield and others [2016] EWHC 1448(ch) – Zenith PI

‘Norris J has recently had to deal with an interesting case where he faced an application that he should recuse himself from a case. It also highlighted the negative impact a litigant in person can have on a case and administration of the Courts.’

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Zenith PI, 29th June 2016

Source: www.zenithpi.wordpress.com

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Defendant who represented himself gets new case review hope – The Guardian

‘A dyslexic defendant who represented himself in a crown court trial – after being handed 790 hours of CCTV footage to review in prison to support his alibi – is challenging his conviction for attempted murder.’

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The Guardian, 10th June 2016

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Immigration advisers using McKenzie Friend status “to dodge regulation” – Legal Futures

‘People are avoiding regulation as immigration advisers by “purportedly acting as McKenzie Friends”, the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) has warned.’

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Legal Futures, 8th June 2016

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

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Regina (Bar Standards Board) v Disciplinary Tribunal of the Council of the Inns of Court – WLR Daily

Regina (Bar Standards Board) v Disciplinary Tribunal of the Council of the Inns of Court [2016] EWCA Civ 478

‘The Disciplinary Tribunal of the Council of the Inns of Court, having determined disciplinary proceedings in favour of a non-practising barrister who had represented herself at the hearing, ordered the Bar Standards Board to pay her costs and appointed an assessor to determine the amount. Treating the Civil Procedure Rules as persuasive, the assessor took the view that by reason of her status as a barrister and the fact that she had conducted the proceedings herself, the barrister had established financial loss sufficient to allow recovery of two thirds of the rate which a solicitor would have charged had CPR r 48.6 applied. He therefore assessed her costs in the sum of £27,521·50 for 166 hours of work, a figure not in dispute. The award included the costs of her time at the rate of £120 per hour. The board claimed judicial review of that decision, contending that the barrister was entitled to no more than that to which a litigant in person would have been entitled, and that the expenditure of her time and skill did not amount to financial loss within the meaning of CPR r 48.6(4)(a). The Divisional Court, allowing the claim in part, held that the correct basis of assessing costs was in accordance with regulation 31 of the board’s Disciplinary Tribunals Regulations 2009 as amended, namely, to award such costs as the tribunal thought fit, the Civil Procedure Rules being neither applicable nor persuasive, and the financial loss of a barrister acting in person defending disciplinary proceedings included the expenditure of the barrister’s own professional skill. The court therefore held that the barrister was entitled to the costs represented by her expenditure of professional skill in successfully defending the charges brought against her. The court concluded that an hourly rate of £120 was too high since she had not been practising at the time, and accordingly substituted an award of costs calculated at £60 per hour. The court further ordered the barrister, as an interested party in the proceedings,to pay 60% of the board’s costs of the judicial review proceedings.’

WLR Daily, 11th May 2016

Source: www.iclr.co.uk

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Regina (S) v Director of Legal Aid Casework – WLR Daily

Posted June 3rd, 2016 in law reports, legal aid, litigants in person by sally

Regina (S) v Director of Legal Aid Casework [2016] EWCA Civ 464

‘The claimant, a Nigerian national who lacked capacity to engage in litigation, applied for exceptional case funding pursuant to section 10 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 to assist him in making representations to the Home Office to recognise his position in the United Kingdom. The Director of Legal Aid Casework refused his application but the claimant was subsequently granted funding after he successfully claimed judicial review of the refusal on the ground that the guidance issued by the Lord Chancellor and applied by the Director was unlawful. Notwithstanding that grant, the claimant’s remaining challenge to the manner in which the exceptional case funding scheme was operated, which raised important issues of wider application, proceeded effectively as a test case. The claimant’s case was that the operation of the scheme created an unacceptable risk that individuals would be unable to make an effective application under the scheme and would therefore suffer a breach of their Convention rights or European Union rights. The judge allowed the claim, holding that (i) the manner in which the exceptional case funding scheme was operated meant that in practice the safety net intended to be provided by section 10 to enable individuals who would not otherwise qualify for legal aid funding to present their cases effectively without obvious unfairness was not being provided and (ii) the requirement in regulations 5 and 43 of the Civil Legal Aid (Merits Criteria) Regulations 2013 that cases had to demonstrate an even or better than even prospect of success was unreasonable and the method of rating prospects of success was itself unsatisfactory. Accordingly he granted declarations that the exceptional case funding scheme, the 2013 Regulations and the guidance were unlawful.’

WLR Daily, 20th May 2016

Source: www.iclr.co.uk

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Court of Appeal says exceptional funding regime is lawful – Legal Aid Handbook

Posted June 3rd, 2016 in legal aid, litigants in person, news by sally

‘The Court of Appeal has given judgment in the case of Director of Legal Aid Casework and another v IS [2016] EWCA Civ 464, the Director’s appeal against the judgment of Collins J in the High Court that the exceptional funding regime was inherently unlawful.’

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Legal Aid Handbook, 3rd June 2016

Source: www.legalaidhandbook.com

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New judgment ‘kills’ unbundled legal services – Law Society’s Gazette

‘An appeal court ruling last week appears to have delivered a serious blow to solicitors seeking to offer ‘unbundled’ services without being held liable for matters beyond those in their client retainer.’

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Law Society’s Gazette, 24th May 2016

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

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Parents’ fight for justice after seven-year-old son dies in winter floods – The Guardian

Posted May 16th, 2016 in children, families, inquests, legal aid, litigants in person, news by sally

‘Zane Gbangbola’s parents believe he died of hydrogen cyanide poisoning but as his inquest nears, they feel let down by the system.’

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The Guardian, 16th May 2016

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Part 25 Applications – The theory and the practice – Family Law Week

‘Marie Crawford, barrister, Becket Chambers considers the disconnection between theory and practice in making applications to adduce expert evidence.’

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Family Law Week, 21st April 2016

Source: www.familylawweek.co.uk

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The Brave New World of Electronic Filing at the Central Family Court – Family Law Week

‘Michael Allum, Solicitor with The International Family Law Group LLP, explains how the Central Family Court’s pilot scheme for electronic filing of documents will work.’

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Family Law Week, 22nd April 2016

Source: www.familylawweek.co.uk

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Don’t try to defend yourself in court. But if you have to, here are some crucial tips – The Guardian

‘More people than ever seem to be defending themselves. If you do it, make sure you understand the law, know the lingo and how to play the system.’

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The Guardian, 26th April 2016

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Direct access barrister ‘no substitute’ for solicitor – judge – Law Society’s Gazette

‘Direct access barristers are no substitute for experienced solicitors, a judge has told a court, ruling that a woman was not advised on the proper process for appealing her council tax liability. ‘

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Law Society’s Gazette, 24th April 2016

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

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Reforms will leave clients vulnerable to rogue McKenzie friends – APIL – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted April 22nd, 2016 in litigants in person, McKenzie friends, news, remuneration by tracey

‘The judiciary should act now to prepare for thousands of extra litigants in person who may be vulnerable to exploitation by paid McKenzie friends.’

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Law Society’s Gazette, 21st April 2016

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

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The Family Justice Council Guide to Sorting Out Finances on Divorce – Family Law Week

‘Stuart Clark, Associate Solicitor at The International Family Law Group LLP, reviews the newly published guide for LiPs dealing with their financial matters after divorce or civil partnership dissolution.’

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Family Law Week, 14th April 2016

Source: www.familylawweek.co.uk

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Judges’ reforms threaten the role of lay legal advisers – The Guardian

Posted April 14th, 2016 in fees, legal representation, litigants in person, McKenzie friends, news by sally

‘Following legal aid cuts, plans to bar McKenzie Friends from charging fees will put help beyond financial reach for many.’

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The Guardian, 13th April 2016

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Public access barristers join forces with debt solutions business to offer fixed-fee representation – Legal Futures

‘A group of public access barristers have formed a partnership with a debt solutions company to provide debtors with fixed-fee court representation that they could otherwise not afford.’

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Legal Futures, 12th April 2016

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

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Susskind: online court is just the beginning – Law Society’s Gazette

‘The proposed online court is a “pragmatic first step” on the road to a fully integrated online and conventional court service, an influential body has predicted. Professor Richard Susskind (pictured), who leads a panel of experts on digital dispute resolution, said proposals by Lord Justice Briggs for an online court for small claims were to be welcomed.’

Full story

Law Society’s Gazette, 9th April 2016

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

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