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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LASPO and the future of the Bar

Posted by - 8th May 2012

‘[…]  in the lobbying of this House and the upper House we have had an army of lawyers advancing behind a front of women and children—vulnerable claimants who they say would not be represented if they are not paid as much as they are now. I am afraid I do not believe that.’ Those were

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Welcome to LegalVoice

Posted by - 2nd May 2012

Welcome to LegalVoice. Thanks for your interest. We want this website to be a source of reliable information, help and advice in the ever-changing and complex world of legal aid. Yesterday the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) Act 2012 received Royal Assent. We also want LegalVoice to serve as an online forum

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A law centre revolution

Posted by - 2nd May 2012

We are on the cusp of what we consider a law centre revolution. Serving a deprived but vibrant community in East London for almost 40 years, Hackney Community Law Centre has been considered part of Hackney’s furniture, writes Ian Rathbone. Now every day, however, we are confronted by the prospect of our demise and very

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