CLAF: ‘A tax on brain-damaged children’

Posted by - 4th October 2012

  The CLAF (contingent legal aid fund) is ‘dead’, writes Elizabeth Davidson. That’s according to Roger Smith, director of JUSTICE. A CLAF – a fund which backs claims and re-invests a proportion of any damages won into future cases – was first proposed by JUSTICE in the late 1960s, and has been backed by the

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‘If people want a Rottweiler, they can go somewhere else.’

Posted by - 4th October 2012

‘We, and all other advice agencies, need to work together. We will continue to offer legal aid for as long as we can. We might well be the last man standing when it comes to legal aid.’ Christina Blacklaws, director of family law with the Co-operative Legal Services, speaks to Jon Robins. The Co-op last

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Weekend court plans in ‘chaos’

Posted by - 27th September 2012

Ministry of Justice (MoJ) plans to pilot Sunday magistrates’ courts have been hit by a technical hitch after prisons said they could not accept new prisoners on that day, writes Elizabeth Davidson. However, its pilot of full-day Saturday courts is still on schedule to begin in the Manchester area this weekend, despite vocal opposition from

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Law firm franchises: ‘It’s not rocket science. Firms can do it themselves.’

Posted by - 20th September 2012

Face2face, QualitySolicitors, Lawyers2u, highstreetlawyer… the list of law firm networks, franchising operations and collective marketing ventures is growing as the profession steers a tricky course through recession-hit Britain, liberalisation of legal services and the fallout from LASPO, writes Elizabeth Davidson Part one of this article looked at the options available for legal aid firms who

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Major reshuffle sees legal aid lawyer join MoJ

Posted by - 7th September 2012

Ken Clarke and Jonathan Djanogly are out of the Ministry of Justice following this week’s reshuffle. Chris Grayling has become the first non-lawyer lord chancellor since 1558 and legal aid lawyer Helen Grant becomes a justice minister. Pic by Francesca Moore Djanogly, who has faced a stream of revelations about his financial interests as well

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Comfort in numbers: is there any point in joining a franchise?

Posted by - 28th August 2012

With competition hotting up in the legal sector, firms are looking for comfort in numbers, writes Elizabeth Davidson. The options available include joining a franchise like face2face or QualitySolicitors, a network like highstreetlawyer or a marketing venture like lawyers2u. (Pic: Amanda Holden at the launch of QualitySolicitors’ legal access points – the idea is to

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LSC overpayments: inflated claims or errors in paperwork?

Posted by - 25th July 2012

The Legal Services Commission (LSC) has overpaid legal aid lawyers by some £20.4m in the last year (it was £28.3m in the prior year), while a further £15m has been spent on clients whose eligibility is not proven, writes Elizabeth Davidson. The discrepancies, highlighted in a National Audit Commission (NAO) report this month (July), mean

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The fight moves on with your help

Posted by - 19th July 2012

‘We have to get the message out, we have to raise the profile of the Access to Justice Foundation (AJF) and ensure we are providing support to the pro bono legal advice sector at this challenging time,’ says Ruth Daniel. In January 2012, the Access to Justice Foundation (AJF) appointed their first full time chief

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Spending watchdog refuses LSC clean bill of health for fourth year

Posted by - 17th July 2012

The National Audit Office reported that legal aid lawyers were overpaid by over £20m last year, plus £15 million went on funding costs for people who did not appear to have been eligible for the help. The spending watchdog refused to give the Legal Services Commission a clean bill of health for the fourth year

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