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

Poppi Worthington inquest delayed by her father after he secures legal aid – Daily Telegraph

Posted May 9th, 2017 in child abuse, delay, inquests, legal aid, news, reports, sexual offences by tracey

‘An inquest into the death of toddler Poppi Worthington has been delayed by her father. Paul Worthington’s solicitors argue they have been left with insufficient time to prepare for the hearing, which was due to start in Kendal, Cumbria, next week, after he finally secured legal aid last week being turned down three times before.’

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Daily Telegraph, 9th May 2017

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

Legal Aid Agency criticised for trying to prosecute major law firm fraud through local authority rather than CPS – Legal Futures

Posted May 8th, 2017 in fraud, legal aid, local government, news, prosecutions by sally

‘The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has taken over prosecution of a major legal aid fraud by a law firm after the Court of Appeal criticised the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) for trying to run the case through the fraud department of a local authority instead.’

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Legal Futures, 8th May 2017

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Official forensic regulator calls for increase to legal aid funding – The Guardian

Posted May 4th, 2017 in computer crime, DNA, forensic science, legal aid, news by sally

‘Defence lawyers need additional legal aid funding to help them check and challenge the increasing complexity of digital evidence gathered for criminal prosecutions, the official forensic science regulator has warned. Dr Gillian Tully told the Forensics Europe Expo in London that time pressures to meet deadlines for complying with new digital forensics standards could result in “a bit of a car crash” if firms are not ready in time.’

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The Guardian, 3rd May 2017

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

Campaigners to crowd fund judicial review of partial hospital closure – Local Government Lawyer

Posted April 27th, 2017 in consultations, costs, hospitals, judicial review, legal aid, news by sally

‘A crowdfunding campaign to judicially review a partial hospital closure in Devon has won backing from Honition Town Council’

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Local Government Lawyer, 26th April 2017

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

The Round-Up: Legal Aid for prisoners in the Court of Appeal – UK Human Rights Blog

Posted April 21st, 2017 in appeals, judicial review, legal aid, news, prisons by tracey

‘The Court of Appeal last week partially granted an application for judicial review of the cuts to Legal Aid in certain categories of prison law. The judgment may change the face of legal representation for prisoners across the UK.’

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UK Human Rights Blog, 18th April 2017

Source: www.ukhumanrightsblog.com

Paid McKenzie Friends “play on uncertainty and victimhood” of separating fathers – Legal Futures

‘‘Professional’ paid McKenzie Friends associated with fathers’ rights groups (FRGs) play on their “uncertainty and sense of victimhood” to attract business, academic research has found, saying that there needed to be a code of conduct and a greater role for law school clinics in their place.’

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Legal Futures, 20th April 2017

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Judge alarmed about lack of lawyer as he jails woman for begging – The Guardian

‘A judge who sentenced a “fragile and vulnerable” woman to five-and-a-half months in jail for begging has expressed alarm that no lawyer could be found to represent her because of problems over legal aid.’

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The Guardian, 20th April 2017

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

Cuts to legal aid for prisoners ruled unlawful – The Guardian

Posted April 11th, 2017 in appeals, equality, legal aid, legal representation, news, prisons by sally

‘The government has lost a key court of appeal battle over access to legal aid for prisoners in a ruling that campaigners have called a groundbreaking victory.’

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The Guardian, 10th April 2017

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

Legal aid safety net applications up by 43% – Legal Voice

‘There has been a 43% increase in applications to LASPO’s safety net regime compared to last year and theLegal Aid Agency granted almost six out of 10. There were 441 applications for exceptional case funding received between October and December 2016, comprising 383 and 58 re-submissions. This compares to 308 in the same period for 2015.’

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Legal Voice, 6th April 2017

Source: www.legalvoice.org.uk

Is Strasbourg law the law of England and Wales? – UK Human Rights Blog

Posted March 31st, 2017 in fees, human rights, legal aid, news, solicitors, statutory interpretation by tracey

‘R (o.t.a Minton Morrill Solicitors) v. The Lord Chancellor [2017] EWHC 612 (Admin) 24 March 2017, Kerr J. This exam-style question arose, in an attempt by solicitors to be paid by the Legal Aid Agency for some work they had done on two applications to Strasbourg. The underlying cases were housing, the first an attempt to stave off possession proceedings, and the second the determination of whether an offer of “bricks and mortar” accommodation to an Irish traveller was one of “suitable accommodation”. Both applications were declared inadmissible by the European Court of Human Rights, and thus could not benefit from that Court’s own legal aid system.’

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UK Human Rights Blog, 30th March 2017

Source: www.ukhumanrightsblog.com

Benefit claimants twice as likely to experience multiple legal problems, according to MoJ study – Legal Voice

Posted March 9th, 2017 in benefits, law centres, legal aid, news, social services, victims by sally

‘People receiving means-tested benefits were twice as likely to experience multiple legal problems as those who did not, according to new research by the Ministry of Justice. It also found that almost one in four black and minority ethnic adults received no help in relation to their legal problems compared with 15% of white adults.’

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Legal Voice, 7th March 2017

Source: www.legalvoice.org.uk

Bar backs MoJ fee scheme restructure – with reservations – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted March 3rd, 2017 in advocacy, barristers, consultations, criminal justice, fees, legal aid, news by tracey

‘The Bar Council has said it is broadly in favour of the Ministry of Justice’s plans to restructure the Advocates’ Graduated Fee Scheme (AGFS) in criminal cases but warned that it should be “closely monitored” to ensure advocates do not lose out on fees.’

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Law Society’s Gazette, 2nd March 2017

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Domestic violence evidence requirement removed – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted February 28th, 2017 in domestic violence, evidence, legal aid, news, time limits, victims by tracey

‘The Law Society has welcomed the government’s decision to remove a time limit for evidence that will make it easier for domestic violence victims to qualify for legal aid.’

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Law Society’s Gazette, 27th February 2017

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Neuberger: “Barristers increasingly shunning judicial careers” – Litigation Futures

‘If a career on the bench is not made more attractive financially, the rule of law could be undermined, and with it lucrative industries vital to post-Brexit economic prosperity, the departing president of the Supreme Court has warned.’

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Litigation Futures, 24th February 2017

Source: www.litigationfutures.com