Family Law Awards 2020
Shortlist announced - time to place your vote!
Court of Protection Practice 2020
'Court of Protection Practice goes from strength to strength, having...
Jackson's Matrimonial Finance Tenth Edition
Jackson's Matrimonial Finance is an authoritative specialist text...
Latest articles
The need for proportionality and the ‘Covid impact’
Simon Wilkinson, Parklane PlowdenThe Covid-19 pandemic has infiltrated every aspect of our lives. Within the courts and tribunals service there has been a plethora of guidance since March 2020 which...
Local authority input into private law proceedings, part II
Mani Singh Basi, Barrister, 4 Paper BuildingsLucy Logan Green, Barrister, 4 Paper BuildingThis article considers the interplay between private and public law proceedings, focusing on the law relating...
Time for change (II)
Lisa Parkinson, Family mediation trainer, co-founder and a Vice-President of the Family Mediators AssociationThe family law community needs to respond to the urgent call for change from the...
How Can I Wed Thee? – Let Me Change the Ways: the Law Commission’s Consultation Paper on ‘Weddings’ Law (2020)
Professor Chris Barton, A Vice-President of the Family Mediators Association, Academic Door Tenant, Regent Chambers, Stoke-on-TrentThis article considers the Paper's 91 Consultation Questions...
Consultation on the proposed transfer of the assessment of all civil legal aid bills of costs to the Legal Aid Agency
The Ministry of Justice has launched a consultation on the proposed transfer from Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service to the Legal Aid Agency of the assessment of all civil legal aid bills of...
View all articles

Family legal aid lawyers are having to turn clients away

Sep 29, 2018, 17:24 PM
Slug : family-legal-aid-lawyers-are-having-to-turn-clients-away
Meta Title :
Meta Keywords :
Canonical URL :
Trending Article : No
Prioritise In Trending Articles : No
Date : Nov 25, 2009, 04:23 AM
Article ID : 89783

Family legal aid lawyers are having to turn away families seeking legal help because they cannot take on new clients as they have used up their annual quota of cases.

With nearly five months to run before the current lagal aid contracts expire, many family lawyers are worried that they will go out of business if they cannot take on new cases in that time. Resolution, the association of family solicitors, is criticising the Legal Services Commission for not increasing the quota of case numbers as they have done in the past.

Karen Mackay, Chief Executive of Resolution, said: "In previous years family legal aid firms have been able to apply for a review of the number of new cases they are permitted to take on and requests for additional cases have largely been met. Our members have developed their business plans and staffing requirements in the very reasonable expectation that this would remain the case.

"Legal aid firms operate on very slim margins and such sudden changes to the flow of funds and work threaten the existence of these practices."

Resolution has written to Lord Bach, Minister for Legal Aid to ask for an urgent meeting so that this matter can be handled appropriately and with sufficient speed to protect the family legal aid network. The number of family legal aid practices has already fallen dramatically from 4,500 in 2000 to under 2,700 in 2008.

"Despite the fact that we have been working side by side with the LSC on behalf of our members to help shape the future of family legal aid, we have had no warning that they planned to make this change," Ms Mackay added.

The LSC has begun reallocating surplus case quotas from firms that are unlikely to use them.

An LSC spokesman said: "Providers of face-to-face services have already reported 20,000 more matters started between April-August 2009 than over the same period last year. This year, we expect to deliver 1.1 million acts of civil assistance in total, more than ever before. That is almost double the 595,000 acts in 2004-5.

"The LSC has undertaken an exercise to remove any surplus new matter starts from providers who are unlikely to use their current allocation. Once this is completed the LSC will be better able to understand if they can afford to reallocate these matters to areas where demand is highest.

"Until the exercise is complete, the LSC will continue to consider individual requests for modest increases from providers who are at imminent risk of exceeding their contracted amount."

Categories :
  • News
Tags :
Provider :
Product Bucket :
Recommend These Products
Related Articles
Load more comments
Comment by from