Bhatia Best take court action against the Lord Chancellor over Legal Aid

Bhatia Best solicitors has commenced legal proceedings in the High Court against the Lord Chancellor. We challenge the scope of our legal aid contract in Public Law to pursue judicial review claims for clients, and seek a declaration as to the contract scope.

Our decision to launch proceedings followed positive advice from leading counsel, and arose after we exhausted the dispute resolution process under our legal aid contract.

We have the largest legal aid contract in the country in Public Law, and our experienced team of lawyers pursue hundreds of judicial review claims for clients each year.

Since April 2013, when the Government changed the scope of legal aid in many areas, the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) has decided that some claims which are decided on judicial review principles can no longer be conducted by us under our Public Law contract.

The LAA have continued to grant legal aid to our clients for these cases but we are having to secure legal aid through the more difficult and back door route of Individual Case Contracts for each client.

This route to legal aid creates additional hurdles and delays in securing funding, and undermines our ability to advise and represent our clients to the greatest effect.

The declaration that we seek, that these cases continue to fall within the Public Law category of work, will enable us to continue to meet the needs of our clients with clarity and certainty, and ensure they have timely access to justice.

For more information contact Jon Wakefield at Bhatia Best:

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