Legal Aid Green Paper Published

Difficult to work out from the rather sketchy news reports how this will impact on family law apart from ‘massively’. More info from the Guardian here and the green paper itself is available in all its 224 page majesty here. I will post again when I have digested it, but headlines appear to be:

  • no funding for private law children except where there is d.v., forced marriage or a risk it might ‘go public’
  • more stringent means testing
  • 10% across the board cuts to lawyers fees
  • codification of fixed fees for experts at 10% less than the LSC standard rates

Happy times.

Oh, and in a nice touch, these proposals for cutting the support available to broken families are open for consultation until February 14th. Somehow, I don’t think many of Ken’s Valentine’s will be signed with kisses at the bottom.

5 thoughts on “Legal Aid Green Paper Published

  1. Chris NQ Solicitor

    I have a funny feeling this may be more expensive than Mr Clarke envisages. The simple fact is that there will be more applications where domestic violence is alleged. This in turn will lead to more finding of fact hearings and the increased cost of such hearings may wipe out or exceed the savings hoped for. The idea that mediation is a one size fits all is ill judged. I do however support the closer scrutiny and examination of expert fees. It has got to the stage where the experts fee have just become staggering and the public need to become aware of this, rather than the notion of the greedy lawyer. The simple truth is most lawyers make a living not a fortune from legal aid. I would be interested to know the percentage cost of experts in line with the total 2bn legal aid budget.

  2. Excellent news, particularly in relation to removing funding from Private Law Children matters.

    I’ve lost count of the times I have seen lawyers on Legal Aid fight tooth and nail for their client’s wishes to restrict or stop a child having a relationship with the other loving, caring parent.

    Why on earth should tax payers be paying for this?

    If Children are at risk, it should be dealt with in Public Law.

    I suppose the only danger is that many parents will make more and wilder DV allegations to secure Legal Aid and control of proceedings as they see it. The sooner these are dealt with solely in the Criminal Courts rather in private Law, the better as well.

    I wonder how many lawyers who continually tell us they do not rely on Legal Aid or they are doing us all a favour by doing Legal Aid work, will be falling by the way side? Most of us know they are in reality reliant on Legal Aid handouts as much as their recalcitrant clients.

    • I’m not sure that the absence of legal advice for hostile parents will necessarily improve the situation for a parent seeking contact. They will just be hostile and badly informed.

  3. […] decided to post several shorter posts about the green paper on legal aid published yesterday. This one will deal with domestic […]

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