This (young legal aid) life: Katherine Barnes

Posted by - 22nd February 2017

It’s Wednesday morning and I’ve set my alarm for 5.30am. I’m in court this morning and still have some material to prepare. I make some coffee and settle down to look at the new documents, which my solicitor sent through late yesterday evening. Read other articles in The (young legal aid) life series here. I am representing

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LALY Awards 2016. Photo: Richard Gray

Nominations for the 2017 LALYs are open

Posted by - 21st February 2017

Nominations for the 2017 Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year (LALY) awards are now open. There are 12 awards in total including Children’s Rights, Public Law, Immigration and Asylum, Access to Justice through IT, and Criminal Defence. After successfully using crowdfunding to raise sponsorship for the Legal Aid Newcomer award, which traditionally kicks off the

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Is the MoJ pursuing a policy of ‘consolidation by stealth’?

Posted by - 14th February 2017

Widespread reports of firms being refused duty solicitor allocations, due to minor omissions or technical issues, have fuelled a belief among practitioners that the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) is operating a policy of ‘consolidation by stealth’. Catherine Baksi reports The deadline for applying for police station duty rota slots for cover running from 1 April,

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How not to make a crisis out of a drama

Posted by - 14th February 2017

If your firm is at the centre of a public storm, survival may depend on having planned ahead and using social media wisely, says Kevin Poulter No lawyer ever expects to be at the centre of a crisis, but from time to time it happens. A crisis is unexpected and, by definition, unwanted. It might

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MoJ sell off two more London courts despite overwhelming opposition

Posted by - 9th February 2017

The government has decided to press on with its decision to shut down two London courts despite an overwhelmingly negative response to its consultation. The closures are in addition to its recent cull of 86 courts across the country which included 10 in the capital. According to a Ministry of Justice (MoJ) consultation responses published yesterday, 53 of 62 respondents opposed

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How US pro bono lawyers mobilised to beat Trump travel ban

Posted by - 8th February 2017

  The American legal profession’s response to the new president’s controversial executive order was unprecedented, says James Sandbach. Amid the misery caused by Donald Trump’s executive order banning anyone trying to enter the USA from seven Muslim countries, there have been shining beacons of hope and strength. At the time of writing, the order has

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The ‘BPB74 Amendment’: A small victory in a long battle

Posted by - 7th February 2017

Christopher Stanley on the battle royal his firm went through to win legal aid funding for the resumed inquest into the 1974 Birmingham Pub Bombings. Christopher is a member of the KRW LAW LLP legal team instructed by six of the families of victims of the Birmingham Pub Bombings 1974 Julie Hambleton, whose sister Maxine was

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The cases that haunt me

Posted by - 2nd February 2017

Kate Aubrey-Johnson on why children are still being failed by the criminal justice system I qualified as a barrister in my mid-twenties, having worked as a teacher and a youth worker. I spent most of my first six months ‘on my feet’ at Stratford Youth Court, learning my trade and ‘practising’ on children. Time and

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The nun with an anti-social habit

Posted by - 31st January 2017

Sue James with more tales from the housing duty desk. Read other articles in the series here. Some clients leave an impression, like a stone or a leaf rubbing. Sister Sara was one of those. She was funny and articulate, and truly on a mission, in every sense of the word. The snow globe of the

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