Alex Schymyck: Why the proposed changes to asylum legal aid fees are unlawful – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘This blog analyses the legality of the Civil Legal Aid (Remuneration) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020, which came into force on 8 June 2020 The regulations radically alter the renumeration available to lawyers who represent asylum seekers in appeals from decisions refusing to grant refugee status. They threaten the viability of legal aid provision and 66 MPs, including the Labour leader Keir Starmer, have signed an Early Day Motion seeking to annul the regulations. The immigration Bar has gone on strike and a major law firm has already indicated its intention to challenge the legality of the regulations.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 23rd June 2020

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

‘Unrealistic’ appeals system fails prisoners who have been victims of abuse – report – The Guardian

‘One month window to challenge convictions in England and Wales means women who have experienced trauma are unfairly criminalised, campaigners say.’

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The Guardian, 17th June 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

Legal aid: Woman in abuse case challenges rules – BBC News

Posted June 9th, 2020 in domestic violence, legal aid, news by sally

‘A woman is challenging rules which deprived her of legal aid for action to protect her from her former partner.’

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BBC News, 9th June 2020

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Coronavirus: Trial backlog ‘adding to risk of mob justice’ – BBC News

Posted June 1st, 2020 in coronavirus, courts, criminal justice, delay, legal aid, news, public order by sally

‘ “Mob justice” could increase in England and Walesunless more money is made available to clear the backlog of court cases swollen by coronavirus, the government has been warned.’

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BBC News, 29th May 2020

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Future for the Bar “bleak” as workload collapses for many – Legal Futures

Posted April 28th, 2020 in barristers, coronavirus, legal aid, loans, news, remuneration by sally

‘The future for the Bar is “bleak” if work streams and earnings do not improve, with over half of barristers now working less than 18 hours a week, the Bar Council has warned.’

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Legal Futures, 28th April 2020

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Young barristers spell out pandemic’s devastating financial toll – Legal Futures

‘Young barristers are being especially badly hit by the coronavirus crisis and they are unlikely to get much help from the government’s self-employment income support scheme (SEISS).’

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Legal Futures, 23rd April 2020

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

‘Too scared to speak out’: young legal aid lawyers highlight Covid-19 pressures – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted April 9th, 2020 in coronavirus, legal aid, legal profession, news, solicitors, standards by sally

‘Furloughed but asked to work, starting work at 5am, prevented from working from home despite living with vulnerable parents – these are some of the shocking stories to emerge from a survey of junior legal aid lawyers.’

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Law Society's Gazette, 9th April 2020

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

MoJ offers some financial support for legal aid firms – Legal Futures

‘The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has introduced economic help for legal aid firms, making hardship payments easier to access and pausing debt repayments to the Legal Aid Agency (LAA).’

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Legal Futures, 3rd April 2020

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Legal aid fraud trial stopped as barristers self-isolate – Legal Futures

Posted March 24th, 2020 in barristers, coronavirus, delay, fraud, health, legal aid, live link evidence, news, solicitors by sally

‘The trial of nine lawyers over an alleged plot to scam £11m from the legal aid system was abandoned last Friday after several counsel withdrew to self-isolate.’

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Legal Futures, 24th March 2020

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Legal aid lawyers call for government support over Covid-19 – Legal Futures

Posted March 17th, 2020 in coronavirus, law firms, legal aid, news, rates by sally

‘Criminal defence solicitors have called for expedited legal aid payments and an extension of the business rate holiday to law firms with contracts to combat the impact of Covid-19.’

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Legal Futures, 17th March 2020

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Early advice enthusiast takes on legal aid brief at MoJ – Legal Futures

Posted March 4th, 2020 in barristers, legal aid, Ministry of Justice, news, select committees by sally

‘A criminal law barrister who has called for the restoration of legal aid for early advice has become the new minister at the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) responsible for legal aid.’

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Legal Futures, 4th March 2020

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

JusticeWatch: Legal aid’s failing safety net – Legal Voice

Posted February 25th, 2020 in attorney general, family courts, judicial review, law firms, legal aid, news by sally

‘Almost four out of 10 legal aid firms do not use the LASPO ‘safety net’ and make exceptional case funding applications, according to a new study by the Public Law Project – reported on the Justice Gap (here). More then three-quarters believed the scheme was not effective. The PLP survey by Professor Joe Tomlinson and Emma Marshall drew on responses between from 89 legal aid providers and other groups providing legal advice and was conducted in October/ November last year. The aim was to engage with providers working in four areas – immigration, family, housing and welfare benefits. Researchers identified 1,276 organisations with a legal aid contract working across these four areas.’

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Legal Voice, 21st February 2020

Source: legalvoice.org.uk

Solicitor lied about backdating legal aid forms – Legal Futures

Posted February 25th, 2020 in disciplinary procedures, legal aid, news, solicitors by sally

‘A young solicitor who botched the backdating of legal aid forms and then lied about it to his employer has agreed to leave the profession.’

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Legal Futures, 24th February 2020

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Out of time but not out of mind – Nearly Legal

‘We saw the High Court in this case take an incredibly strict approach to homelessness section 204 appeal timescales (our report), deciding that seeking legal aid representation could not be a good reason for filing an appeal out of time because, well, the substance of any appeal should be obvious to an unrepresented homeless applicant. We expressed considerable doubts about the realism of this decision at the time. Now, as it turns out, the Court of Appeal has had similar doubts.’

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Nearly Legal, 2nd February 2020

Source: nearlylegal.co.uk

Applicant wins Court of Appeal battle over whether difficulty finding legal advisers was “good reason” for delay in homelessness appeal – Local Government Lawyer

‘The Court of Appeal has overturned a High Court ruling that the fact a homeless applicant was unrepresented and seeking legal aid was not a “good reason” for delay in bringing an appeal under s.204 of the Housing Act 1996 against an adverse review decision under the homelessness provisions of that Act.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 31st January 2020

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Criminal legal aid solicitor struck off for accounts rule breaches – Legal Futures

‘A solicitor has been struck off after nearly 40 years in practice after admitting that the difficulties of relying on payment from criminal legal aid work overwhelmed him.’

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Legal Futures, 21st January 2020

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Third of barristers see cuts and changes to legal aid as “critical challenge”, LexisNexis report finds – Local Government Lawyer

Posted January 21st, 2020 in barristers, budgets, legal aid, news by sally

‘Family and criminal barristers handling publicly funded work consider the cuts and changes to legal aid as a major concern, a report by LexisNexis UK has revealed.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 20th January 2020

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Barristers to lose out from Iraq claims firm’s liquidation – Legal Futures

‘Barristers instructed by now-defunct Birmingham law firm Public Interest Lawyers (PIL) are set to lose out significantly from its liquidation, although its collapse may yet spark legal action, it has emerged.’

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Legal Futures, 13th January 2020

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

What to do when your solicitor has not paid – Counsel

Posted January 9th, 2020 in barristers, contracts, fees, legal aid, news, solicitors by sally

‘Unpaid fees? Give some thought to your contractual status and when to use the ‘nuclear option’.’

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Counsel, January 2020

Source: www.counselmagazine.co.uk

Guildford pub bomb inquest family ‘never going to get justice’ – BBC News

‘A woman who lost her soldier sister in the Guildford pub bombings has said her family are “never going to get justice” even though the inquest has resumed.’

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BBC News, 18th December 2019

Source: www.bbc.co.uk