Access to Legal Aid

One of our criminal clients has recently been made subject to a restraining order with the requrement that he should not contact his former partner “except through solicitors for the purpose of arranging contact with his children”. He is in receipt of benefit and cannot possibly pay for legal assistance. Legal Aid has now been […]

Are Experts Really Necessary?

The Family Procedure Rules 2010 were amended to require as of 31 January 2013 that Judges first find that an expert is “necessary” prior to authorising instruction of such an expert. The Court of Appeal has addressed the issue of the meaning of “necessary” and has concluded that the test makes it likely that the […]

The Junior Bar

In a sad indictment of career dissatisfaction at the junior bar, one ebay user and former pupil-barrister sold an Ede and Ravenscroft wig and gown on ebay recently with the following description; “After 5 years hard slog and penury, I (i.e, Mastercard) purchased this wig, gown and collar for about £650 at Ede and R……. […]

THE CORPORATE ENTITY AND FAMILY FINANCES

 “Family Law” journal recently published an interesting analysis of the case of PREST V. PETRODEL The issue that the Supreme Court had to wrestle with in this landmark decision was whether the corporate veil could be pierced in proceedings for financial remedies under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973.  An incorporated company is an independent legal […]

The Politics Show

On Sunday 9th June Bhatia Best’s senior partner, Ash Bhatia, will appear on the BBC Politics Show to debate the proposed legal aid cuts with local members of parliament.

Threat to Criminal Justice

The Ministry of Justice is proposing sweeping changes to the provision of legal aid for criminal cases. In particular, client choice is to be removed and solicitors imposed. Many exisiting solicitors will not receive contracts – for example the whole of Nottinghamshire is to be covered by only six firms. In addition fees are to be […]

Students – parents refusing financial support?

Under the Children Act 1989 a parent can be ordered to pay financial support to sons and daughters who are undergoing education or training, even though they are over the age of 18. A student who has reached the age of 19 can take court proceedings in his/her own right against one or both parents […]

Last Chance for Family Legal Aid

Legal Aid is to be withdrawn from most family law disputes between individuals from 1 April 2013. Applications for Legal Aid made on or before 31 March 2013 will still be considered under the current rules. However everyone is required to try to resolve disputes through negotiation or mediation before applying for Legal Aid to go to court, so […]

Youth Court Sentencing

Changes to Youth Court Sentencing   The introduction of the Legal Aid and Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 has given the Youth Court wider powers in respect of referral orders. Prior to this Act, if a juvenile appeared before the court for the first time and pleaded guilty the court (in most cases) […]

Challenge to Operation Nutmeg

Police forces in England and Wales have begun a large-scale operation, code named Operation Nutmeg to collect DNA samples from approximately 12,000 offenders who are not on the national DNA database. This is largely due to the age of the individual’s convictions. The majority of the people that have been highlighted by this operation will […]