LegalVoice is an online magazine about ‘access to justice’. It is aimed at legal aid law firms, the not-for-profit sector and all organisations providing publicly-funded legal advice in the UK.
It was launched in May 2012 in the midst of the biggest shake-up of legal aid since a system of publicly-funded law was set up as a key part of the welfare state under the Legal Aid and Advice Act 1949.
The idea is for an online magazine that:
• disseminates all the information practitioners need to know about legal aid
• keeps legal aid professionals abreast of the changes in the sector
• delivers insightful commentary and expert analysis; and
• provides a forum for legal aid professional to exchange ideas.
LegalVoice is a not-for-profit venture. Its start-up costs costs have been met by City law firms and other supporters. We are especially grateful to Allen & Overy, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Clifford Chance for their generous support. We have also received considerable logistical support from Allen & Overy and Lexis Nexis.
The site was developed by David Gilmore and Jon Robins with help from Vicky Ling and Matt Howgate. Jon is the editor.
We welcome contributions from all professionals committed to access to justice and anyone interested in the sector. Please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
David specialises in advising legal aid firms and is the founder of DG Legal. David is an expert in relation to all legal aid contracting matters, practice management and quality assurance and has been instructed by a wide range of local and national bodies including the Law Society, the Welsh Assembly Government, the Legal Services Commission, Citizens Advice, Advice UK, the Home Office, the Legal Aid Practitioners Group, Central Law Training, and the Law Centres Federation.
David has provided advice and assistance to more than 600 legal providers over the past 11 years on a wide range of issues. He is a Law Society accredited Lexcel consultant. Prior to establishing DG Legal in 2000, David worked for Abbey, Marks & Spencer and the Legal Services Commission in varying senior management roles.
You can follow David on Twitter (@LegalVoiceUK).
David is a LegalVoice director.
Jon is LegalVoice editor. He is a freelance journalist and has been writing for the national and specialist press about law and justice issues for close to 20 years. Over the years his writing has appeared regularly in The Times, The Observer, The Guardian, The FT, The Independent, The Independent on Sunday and many other publications.
Jon runs www.thejusticegap.com – a website about the law and justice aimed at the public. Jon won the Bar Council’s legal reporter of the year 2015 (and previously in 2005). The Justice Gap won the Halsbury Legal Journalism award 2013.
Jon has written several books including The First Miscarriage of Justice (Waterside Press, 2014); The Justice Gap: Whatever happened to legal aid? (Legal Action Group, 2009); and People Power: how to run a campaign (Daily Telegraph and LawPack, 2008).
Jon is a visiting lecturer in the journalism department at Winchester University, a visiting senior fellow in access to justice at the University of Lincoln, a patron of Hackney Community Law Centre and on the advisory committee for the Centre for Criminal Appeals.
You can follow Jon on Twitter (@JusticeGap). Jon is a LegalVoice director.
Fiona is a LegalVoice comment and commissioning editor.
She is a London-based legal affairs journalist, campaigner and researcher.
Fiona is director of campaigns and communications at the award-winning charity Just for Kids Law. She was editor of Legal Action magazine from October 2014-February 2016, and won the 2015 Halsbury award for legal journalism.
In May 2015, she co-founded Act for the Act, a ground-breaking, crowd-funded campaign, run entirely by volunteers, which aims to generate public support for the Human Rights Act in the face of plans for its abolition. She is also co-founder of the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards. From 2013-2014, she worked as research and communications director of Legal Action Group’s Immigration and Asylum Law Project (funded by New York-based Unbound Philanthropy), and wrote its ‘Chasing Status’ report (published October 2014), which highlights the plight of ‘surprised Brits’, who find they are living with irregular immigration status.
She is co-author of Ricin! The inside story of the terror plot that never was (Pluto Publishing, 2010).
You can follow Fiona on Twitter (@FionaBawdon).
She has been heavily involved in pro bono work for a number of
years and has experience in implementing new free legal advice schemes and
managing broad networks of free legal advice providers.
Martha is a LegalVoice director.
Natalia is Deputy Chief Executive of the London Legal Support Trust. She joined LLST in October 2011 from the Bar Pro Bono Unit where she became involved in the London Legal sponsored walk, helping to recruit chambers’ teams as part of her role.
Alongside fundraising experience she brings technical finance and marketing skills to the Trust as well as many new ideas and enthusiasm.
Natalia is a LegalVoice director
The site has been developed with the support and involvement of many representative groups in the sector, including:
• Advice UK
• Advice Services Alliance
• Bar Council
• Bar Standards Board
• Citizens Advice
• Immigration Legal Practitioners Association
• Institute of Legal & Financial Management
• Legal Aid Practitioners Group
• London Criminal & Courts Solicitors’ Association
• Law Centres Federation
• Legal Services Board
• London Legal Support Trust
• Legal Services Commission/Ministry of Justice
• Solicitors Regulation Authority
• The Law Society; and
• The Legal Ombudsman.
Thanks for all your support!