Bach Commission: “Only legislation will resolve crisis in legal aid system” – Legal Futures

Posted September 22nd, 2017 in legal aid, news, reports by sally

‘The right to justice should be enshrined in an Act of Parliament to ensure that nobody is denied legal assistance because they cannot afford it, according to the final report of the Bach Commission.’

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Legal Futures, 22nd September 2017

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

LASPO cuts leave thousands of lone migrant children at ‘serious risk’, says Children’s Society – Legal Voice

Posted September 6th, 2017 in children, immigration, legal aid, news, trafficking in human beings by sally

‘The LASPO ‘safety net’ was leaving thousands of lone migrant children at ‘serious risk’, according to a report published by the Children’s Society last month. As a result of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, support for all non-asylum immigration claims was cut subject to its controversial exception case funding (ECF) scheme.’

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Legal Voice, 5th September 2017

Source: www.legalvoice.org.uk

Don’t reject legal aid application with ‘tick-box’ letter, judge says – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted August 25th, 2017 in documents, expert witnesses, fees, judges, judgments, legal aid, news by sally

‘A family judge has told the Legal Aid Agency not to issue a letter ‘almost akin to a tick-box form’ should it refuse to pay an expert’s fee in a case involving a three-month old boy at the centre of care proceedings.’

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Law Society's Gazette, 24th August 2017

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Grenfell Inquiry: terms of reference ‘won’t satisfy government’s legal obligations’ – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted August 16th, 2017 in fire, housing, inquiries, judges, legal aid, London, news by sally

‘Terms of reference for the public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire may not satisfy the government’s legal obligations to investigate the full circumstances of the tragedy, lawyers representing some of the victims have warned.’

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Law Society's Gazette, 15th August 2017

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Mother wins court battle to change child’s ‘tainted’ middle name – Daily Telegraph

Posted July 31st, 2017 in appeals, change of name, children, family courts, legal aid, names, news by sally

‘A mother who no longer liked her child’s middle name has won the right to have it removed in a legal challenge costing thousands of pounds in legal aid.’

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Daily Telegraph, 29th July 2017

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

Stephen Lawrence killer gets legal aid for compensation claim – Daily Telegraph

Posted July 26th, 2017 in assault, compensation, legal aid, news, personal injuries, prisons by sally

‘One of the killers of Stephen Lawrence has been granted legal aid in a battle to get compensation from the Government after he was allegedly beaten up in prison.’

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Daily Telegraph, 25th July 2017

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

Underfunded and overstretched: the lawyers seeking justice for Grenfell – The Guardian

Posted July 25th, 2017 in bereavement, fire, housing, law centres, legal aid, news, pro bono work, victims by sally

‘North Kensington Law Centre was the first in the UK to offer access to justice for the poor and vulnerable. Now fighting for financial survival, the tragedy on its doorstep has meant NKLC’s services are more in demand than ever.’

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The Guardian, 24th July 2017

Source: www.theguardian.com

Judges “left uneasy” by professionals challenging regulators as litigants in person – Legal Futures

‘Judges are “left uneasy” by professionals presenting their own challenges to regulators as litigants in person (LIPs) and ignoring the “best points” available to them, the High Court has heard.’

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Legal futures, 21st July 2017

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Expert witness wins apology and payment from Legal Aid Agency – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted July 18th, 2017 in complaints, expert witnesses, fees, legal aid, news, ombudsmen, reports by tracey

‘The Legal Aid Agency has been told to directly apologise and pay £10,000 to an expert witness in immigration cases for causing him distress, inconvenience and financial loss by excessively auditing his bills.’

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Law Society's Gazette, 17th July 2017

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Rethink needed on availability of legal aid – The Bar Council

Posted July 7th, 2017 in barristers, judges, legal aid, news, speeches by tracey

‘Commenting on Lord Neuberger’s speech published yesterday, Chair of the Bar Andrew Langdon QC has said that a complete rethink on the availability and sufficiency of legal aid is needed in order to prevent excluding those who cannot afford its protection.’

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The Bar Council, 5th July 2017

Source: www.barcouncil.org.uk

“Quick and dirty” online justice better than no justice, says Neuberger as he laments legal aid policy failure – Legal Futures

‘“Quick and dirty” online dispute resolution (ODR) is better than “no justice or absurdly over-priced justice”, the president of the Supreme Court has said in a wide-ranging speech that included a devastating critique of legal aid policy over the past two decades.’

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Legal Futures, 5th July 2017

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

News focus: LASPO 4 years on, the Law Society review – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted July 3rd, 2017 in budgets, civil justice, criminal justice, legal aid, news by tracey

‘Is access to justice an essential public service, akin to state schooling and lifelong healthcare free at the point of delivery? The Law Society believes it is – or at least should be – and pushes the point hard in a damning new report on the social consequences of swingeing funding and scope cuts to civil legal aid. Barriers erected by the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders act (LASPO) in 2013 have denied justice to some of the most vulnerable people in society, Chancery Lane argues in Access Denied? LASPO four years on.’

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Law Society's Gazette, 3rd July 2017

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Mediation decline may be due to legal aid cuts, government admits – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted June 30th, 2017 in dispute resolution, families, legal aid, news by tracey

‘An increasing lack of opportunities for contact between clients and law firms brought on by controversial legal aid cuts may have driven the steep decline in the number of family mediation cases, the government has admitted.’

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Law Society's Gazette, 30th June 2017

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Legal aid cuts ‘may have stopped Grenfell tenants pursuing safety concerns’ – The Guardian

‘Cuts to legal aid may have stopped tenants in Grenfell Tower from pursuing safety concerns that could have prevented the fire, the president of the Law Society, Robert Bourns, has suggested.’

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The Guardian, 29th June 2017

Source: www.theguardian.com

Grenfell Tower fire: tenants’ rights and the gaps in the law – Legal Voice

‘The Grenfell Action Group and residents raised repeated concerns about the apparent neglect of health and safety legislation. Whilst there are several potential causes of action, the reality for tenants is that they would have struggled to bring a claim for a number of reasons.’

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Legal Voice, 23rd June 2017

Source: www.legalvoice.org.uk

Legal aid cuts have left residents no way to challenge sub-standard housing – The Guardian

‘The Grenfell Tower action group had no access to legal aid. Residents at risk in their homes want straightforward, enforceable legal remedies to keep them safe.’

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The Guardian, 26th June 2017

Source: www.theguardian.com

Hyde v Milton Keynes NHS Foundation Trust – WLR Daily

Posted June 1st, 2017 in appeals, costs, fees, hospitals, law reports, legal aid by sally

Hyde v Milton Keynes NHS Foundation Trust [2017] EWCA Civ 399

‘The claimant brought a personal injury claim against the defendant under a Community Legal Service funding certificate which was subject to costs limitations. Although the defendant had admitted liability, quantum remained in issue. With the funding certificate nearing exhaustion and the Legal Services Commission refusing further funding, the claimant’s solicitors concluded that the case could not be completed on a funded basis. Accordingly, the claimant entered into a conditional fee agreement (“CFA”) with her solicitors. The solicitors served on the defendant notice of a change in funding arrangements but took no steps to apply for or obtain a formal discharge of the funding certificate. The claim later settled, the defendant having made an increased offer which the claimant accepted. On the assessment of costs, the costs judge concluded that the claimant was entitled to recover from the defendant her costs arising under the CFA, rejecting the defendant’s contention that the CFA was unenforceable by virtue of sections 10(1) and 22(2) of the Access to Justice Act 1999 because it had been entered into at a time when the claimant was “funded” by the commission as part of the Community Legal Service. The judge dismissed the defendant’s appeal, holding that the claimant was not “funded” by the commission, for the purposes of sections 10(1) and 22(2), once the funding certificate had been exhausted, even though the certificate had not been discharged.’

WLR Daily, 23rd May 2017

Source: www.iclr.co.uk

Court of Appeal backs claimants over post-legal aid CFA – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted May 26th, 2017 in appeals, costs, fees, legal aid, news by tracey

‘The Court of Appeal has upheld a conditional fee agreement entered into because legal aid had run out – even though the legal aid certificate had not been formally discharged.’

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Law Society’s Gazette, 24th May 2017

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

When can a tribunal be forced to pay the costs of judicially reviewing it? – Free Movement

‘“Not often” is the answer. Only if the tribunal acts in an improper way. Incompetence or unlawfulness is not sufficient.’

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Free Movement, 18th May 2017

Source: www.freemovement.org.uk

Council “did not have power to prosecute alleged legal aid fraud”: Court of Appeal – Local Government Lawyer

‘Thurrock Council did not have power to bring prosecution proceedings on behalf of the Legal Aid Agency in relation to an alleged legal aid fraud, the Court of Appeal has ruled.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 9th May 2017

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk