A culture of disbelief

Posted by - 4th July 2012

Lawyers who deal with asylum claims are likely to be thin on the ground as a result of the legal aid cuts and the consequences for women asylum-seekers, in particular, will be ‘catastrophic’, charities have warned – writes Elizabeth Davidson. The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act retains legal aid for asylum but

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LawWorks awards 2012: results

Posted by - 4th July 2012

Congratulations to all this year’s LawWorks pro bono award winners. LegalVoice sponsored the firm of the year award – won by Linklaters. The panel of judges included Baroness Patricia Scotland; John Wotton, president of the Law Society; Joshua Rozenberg, journalist; and Hekim Hannan for the Junior Lawyers Division pro bono award. The City law firm

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All out: should solicitors join the Bar in a strike?

Posted by - 26th June 2012

Criminal Bar Association (CBA) chair Max Hill QC is standing by his threat of industrial action but has ruled out the prospect of barristers striking before September. Last month (May), Hill told assembled practitioners attending a CBA annual dinner that a survey of its members had shown nearly nine out of ten were willing to

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Rethinking access to justice

Posted by - 22nd June 2012

‘City’s aid sought for post-LASPO project,’ announced the Law Society earlier this month. Apparently, Chancery Lane is seeking the backing of City firms for (in its words) ‘a high-profile initiative aimed at helping high street practices and their clients meet the challenges posed by legal aid cuts’. The Society’s vice-president Lucy Scott-Moncrieff discusses the group’s

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QASA – and what it means to you

Posted by - 20th June 2012

New rules for solicitors (and registered European lawyers) who want to undertake criminal advocacy form January 2013 will require them to notify the Solicitors Regulation Authority under the new Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (Crime) arrangements, writes Anne-Marie Lynch. The scheme opens on July 2nd 2012 and will be open for notifications until 21st September 2012.

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Chancery Lane calls on City to launch post-LASPO fightback

Posted by - 15th June 2012

The Law Society is in discussion with City law firms over a number of ideas to ‘plug the gap’ post-Laspo, including ‘strategic litigation’, monitoring of public bodies and a privately funded CLAF, writes Elizabeth Davidson. An initial meeting was held last week between representatives from the Law Society, pro bono and corporate responsibility departments of

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LALYs 2012: ‘No time to walk away’

Posted by - 14th June 2012

Doreen Lawrence OBE and solicitor Imran Khan were both recognised for their contribution to justice at the 2012 Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year (LALY) awards. Imran Khan, the solicitor who began representing Doreen Lawrence and her family two days after Stephen Lawrence’s murder in 1993, was presented with the award for Outstanding Achievement. Doreen

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LegalVoice launch: ‘Be positive. Stay angry.’

Posted by - 13th June 2012

‘The fight isn’t over,’ Lord Willy Bach, told guests at the formal launch of LegalVoice. There was always ‘substantial danger’ that following a fierce political battle ‘the world soon forgets the major issues of principle involved’. ‘This plays into the government’s hands who do not want reminding of embarrassing and outrageous decisions. Part of our

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‘There is a battle to be fought’

Posted by - 30th May 2012

‘Social welfare law is at the core of the legal aid concept,’ argues the human rights lawyer Michael Mansfied QC. ‘Legal aid is about providing safety nets. We are looking at those people who cannot look after themselves because they haven’t got the wherewithal be that financially, physically or mentally. For that safety net to

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Strike call: Barristers threaten ‘ultimate weapon’

Posted by - 23rd May 2012

Barristers should consider ‘the ultimate weapon’ and threaten strike action over legal aid cuts and delays to their payments, argued the chairman of the Criminal Bar Association last week. A new survey of over 1,600 CBA members found almost nine out of 10 respondents (89%) were willing to take direct action. Speaking at the group’s

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