Lanyon Bowdler Backs Peer Opposition to Legal Aid Reforms
Opposition of the Government’s legal aid reforms by peers in the House of Lords has been welcomed by law firm Lanyon Bowdler.
Justice secretary Ken Clarke announced in 2011 proposals to cut approximately £350 million from the annual legal aid budget - funds that are used to help vulnerable people pay for legal advice and services. Areas in which the funding is to be removed include some employment law and family law cases, housing and debt issues and medical negligence claims.
However, the Government has since faced a backlash over the plans, with a range of not-for-profit organisations such as Citizens Advice fearing they could leave certain pockets of the public in dire straits.
They believe they will lead to a situation whereby only wealthy people have access to legal advice, or the costs of taking a case to court outweigh potential damages recovered.
The criticism aimed at the Government has continued over the past month, only this time from peers in the House of Lords. Ministers were defeated six times in less than two days during the report stage debate, opting to support legal aid for certain clinical negligence cases and those who want to challenge cuts to their benefits.
Commenting on the news, Colin Spanner, partner and family law solicitor at Shropshire and Herefordshire-based solicitors Lanyon Bowdler, said: "We’re pleased that there is opposition not just from outsiders but now from those within Parliament, giving us hope that these potentially very damaging proposals will be reconsidered.
“Legal aid has for many years offered people of all backgrounds access to justice and cutting its budget so significantly could have disastrous effects on the lives of those who need help the most.”
Lanyon Bowdler is a law firm with offices throughout Shropshire and Herefordshire, including Ludlow, Oswestry and Shrewsbury. It specialises in many areas of the law, such as agricultural law, clinical negligence claims, personal injury and family law.
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