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Court of appeal say legal aid savings are no economy at all

She noted that the husband’s lack of representation meant that he had approached the case on a mistaken basis. Tasks normally carried out by the parties’ legal representatives had to be done by Court of Appeal Judges instead. LJ Black added: “This is not a satisfactory state of affairs as the time taken to attend to this is considerable and cannot be spared in what is already a very busy court.”Lord Justice Aikens said the husband could not be expected to master a technical and unusual area of Law and present his case.  This, he said: “raised not only issues of justice but financial concerns as well.”Money may have been saved from the Legal Aid Funds, but an equal amount of expense, if not more, has been incurred in terms of the costs of judges’ and court time. The result is that there is, in fact, no economy at all.”Worse, this way of dealing with cases runs the risk that a correct result will not be reached because the court does not have the legal assistance of counsel that it should have and a court has no other legal assistance available.”This echoes what solicitors, counsel and judges alike have long said, both before and since the major cuts in Legal Aid.Don Bird, senior partner and head of the Family Department, commented: “It is increasingly worrying that more and more people are having to deal with matters outside their experience and expertise, without necessarily knowing the approach which is in their best interests and in the interests of achieving a sensible result.”At Atherton Godfrey we can provide advice on a fixed fee basis or ‘as and when’ by helping you to navigate the maze of process and procedure. Call 01302 320621 or email

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