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Senior Judges Comment on Civil Legal Aid Cuts

15th May 2014

Matthew Winder, Senior Director, Clarkson Hirst Solicitors of Lancaster, Kendal and Barrow

Senior Judges comment on civil legal aid cuts

In written evidence responding to the Government’s consultation on the first year of Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act the Judicial Executive Board said Courts have faced an increase in numbers of litigants in person. It is stated that the Court systems have yet to be developed to deal with unprecedented litigants with cases that might never have been brought had a lawyer been involved now being fully contested.

The Board is made up of the most senior Judges.

The response said that the judiciaries experience is that the absence of pre-proceedings advice has caused an increase in unmeritorious claims and almost certainly some meritorious cases never being brought.

Litigants in person lack knowledge of the legal system and some tend to be much more demanding of the Court’s staff and some wrongly assume administrative staff can give legal advice.

If you are proposing to embark upon litigation through the civil Courts then it would always be wise to take legal advice before proceeding.

Clarkson Hirst appreciate that legal advice is expensive. Subject to prior approval and our terms and conditions we will provide an initial two hours advice on a civil litigation matter for the sum of £100.00 plus VAT.

It would always be sensible to take legal advice before commencing Court proceedings to check out whether your case has merit or not.

It should be noted that in most cases if the other party is legally represented and you lose the case you will be ordered to pay the other party’s legal costs. Losing a case in the civil Court could therefore prove very expensive indeed and it would always be wise to take legal advice before proceeding.

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