Detail of a british five pound note.

Pro bono: More than a public good

Posted by - 26th May 2017

James Sandbach, director of policy and external affairs at LawWorks, responds to Jon Black’s piece ‘What’s so good about pro bono’ published last week on legal Voice. Sandbach argues that pro bono is not a misnomer or a gimmicky PR stunt, but something the professions should celebrate and promote. Jon is spot on to say

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JusticeWatch: the miserable state of criminal justice

Posted by - 26th May 2017

Manifestly wrong If you want to understand where ‘access to justice’ ranks alongside the big policy questions of the day as we approach June 8, I recommended a brief flick through the Conservative manifesto in an article for the New Law Journal. ‘It doesn’t,’ I argued. The words ‘legal aid’ were mentioned once and even then

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Manchester lawyers rally to help attack victims

Posted by - 25th May 2017

Manchester lawyers are co-ordinating a pro bono advice rota following Monday’s attack on the Manchester Arena. The Manchester Law Society is looking for firms willing to provide pro bono help and free representation to bereaved families to assist with Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) and inquests. It is also looking for help in the following areas: administration of estates, property ownership/mortgage, insurance,

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London legal walk

Thirteenth record year for legal walkers

Posted by - 25th May 2017

Lawyers took to the streets this week to raise funds for law centres and legal advice agencies across the capital. A record 12,000 walkers from 700 teams took part in the 10km walk, starting at the Royal Courts of Justice – and either going along the river or through Hyde Park – before finishing at

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YLAL debate: Access to justice after the election

Posted by - 24th May 2017

What do the next five years hold for legal aid? There is unlikely to be much focus on this subject during the general election campaign, but in an attempt to redress the balance, Young Legal Aid Lawyers (YLAL) held a pre-election debate on access to justice in London last week. Garden Court Chambers hosted Access

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There has never been a better time to commit crime

Posted by - 22nd May 2017

James Parry, a criminal solicitor at Liverpool firm Parry Welch Lacey and chairman of the Law Society’s criminal law committee, asks what has become of the criminal justice system In April those firms of solicitors who secured a contract to provide criminal legal aid allowed themselves a moment to celebrate their success. They were foolish

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JusticeWatch: Industrial-scale injustice

Posted by - 19th May 2017

Industrial-scale injustice In a letter to the Times, Caspar Glyn QC complained about Theresa May ‘trumpeting’ new employment rights for workers when all rights (‘new and old’) were ‘locked up behind an unaffordable pay wall of employment tribunal fees costing between £390 and £1200’. ‘In truth these rights are almost wholly illusory,’ he argued. ‘The low pay father

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Tory manifesto: a ‘deafening silence’ on legal aid

Posted by - 19th May 2017

Pledges for a Mental Health Bill, independent public advocates for families at inquests and measures to protect crime victims all featured in the Conservative party’s election manifesto, but there was a deafening silence on legal aid. The only reference to it, in the 88-page documents was a line in the section headed ‘Strong defence in an uncertain

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LALY Awards 2016. Photo: Richard Gray

LALYs 2017 shortlist announced

Posted by - 18th May 2017

The shortlist for this year’s LALYs has been announced featuring the Belfast firm representing families of the 21 Birmingham pub bombings victims and the solicitor who successfully challenged the government over the detention of unaccompanied refugee children. The winners of this year’s LALYs, launched to celebrate the work of legal aid lawyers and now in their 15th

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