Advice in a Leafy Suburb

Posted by - 13th July 2012

Almost a year ago, with many areas of London reeling after nights of rioting, the word on many people’s lips – delivered with incredulity – was ‘Ealing? Riots in leafy Ealing? Croydon or Clapham Junction OK, but Ealing?’ Hard to imagine what social problems there might be in the ‘Queen of the Suburbs’ to bring

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Regulation, ABSs and NfPs

Posted by - 5th July 2012

Many not-for-profit agencies will have been focusing recently on the tenders for new legal aid contracts, writes Simon Pugh. But in between breathing a sigh of relief at the successful submission of your PQQ and the release of the ITT in September, there is another issue to consider. How will you be regulated in the

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The COLP Report: Tombola time

Posted by - 26th June 2012

  Beware the British summer—the season of storms, gales, flooded caravans, transport chaos, sporting disappointment and, if you’re not careful, one other seasonal surprise.At this time of year, many firms rally their troops with an office summer party. Often held outside, it seemed such a great idea all those dark, wet, cold months ago.  Now

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Compensation for LSC maladministration

Posted by - 20th June 2012

You won’t find any mention of it in the contract and there’s no obvious guidance on the Legal Services Commission website, so you might be surprised to learn that the LSC operates an ‘ex gratia’ compensation scheme for situations where individuals or firms suffer financial loss as a result of their mistakes, writes Matthew Howgate.

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Sharing good practice

Posted by - 31st May 2012

When the website went live in May, in a welcome message, I explained that the idea of launching an online magazine arose out of work funded by The Baring Foundation to produce a series of guides for Law Centres. The Baring funded project itself flowed from work carried out by DG Legal funded by the

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On thinking the unthinkable

Posted by - 29th May 2012

When the government’s intentions to slash civil legal aid were made clear in the Green Paper preceding the LASPO Bill there was a collective sinking of hearts throughout the not-for-profit advice sector. Those of us with Legal Services Commission contracts were used to being battered by the system. We had been through many changes, from

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The world hasn’t ended, it’s just changed

Posted by - 24th May 2012

So that’s it, then. LASPO has received royal assent, and legal aid as we know it has come to an end, writes Richard Miller. Except, it’s not quite as simple as that. On the Government’s figures, there will still be over £1.5 billion going into legal aid. Crime, public law family, mental health and asylum

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Report from the frontline

Posted by - 17th May 2012

In a single day on the duty desk, solicitors from South West London Law Centres (SWLLC) represent up to 20 clients in the county courts having met them just minutes before entering the courtroom. Many clients are due to be evicted within 24 hours. A high percentage are single mothers, and often recent job loss,

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Countdown to London legal walk

Posted by - 15th May 2012

In less than one week – on Monday 21st May from 4.30pm onwards – you may well struggle to get a response from nearly 400 courts, law firms, chambers, Law Centres, Citizens Advice Bureau or law school pro bono departments across London. We would apologise; however, the free legal advice centres that they are supporting

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Pro bono in a post-LASPO world

Posted by - 10th May 2012

At the College of Law, although I learned about office copies, the Solicitors’ Code of Conduct and aspects of Solicitors’ Accounts long since mercifully forgotten, I was never taught about straplines – a skill which would have stood me in good stead over the years, writes Rebecca Hilsenrath. A good strapline bears up under stress,

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