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Provision of Legal Services Lecture

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Provision of Legal Services Lecture

ADVICE AGENCIES

The following other bodies also provide legal advice and help:

Citizens’ Advice Bureaux

Law Centres

Claims management companies

Community Legal Service Website

Other agencies such as the AA/RAC, trade unions, charities and insurance

companies.

Citizens’ Advice Bureaux

Staffed by volunteers, including solicitors

Give general advice free to the public

Specialise in social welfare problems and debt, some advising on legal

matters

Have a list of solicitors who do government funded work

The Benson Commission (1979) recommended that CABx be staffed by

para-legals and have more government funding.

Law Centres

Law Centres offer free legal services, ie advice and sometimes

representation.

Common areas of work include housing, welfare, employment and

discrimination

They have suffered from a lack of funding and some have been forced to

close

Claims management companies

These organisations deal with personal injury cases which are taken-on

on the basis of Conditional Fee Agreements (see below)

They advertise widely on television and in newspapers

ROLE OF THE LEGAL PROFESSION

Lawyers run the following schemes:

A free or fixed fee (up to £25) interview

ALAS, the Law Society’s Accident Legal Advice Service, which provides a

free initial interview and a helpline to solicitors

Free Representation Units, whereby barristers and solicitors do work pro

bono publico (free for the good of the public)

Conditional Fee Agreements (see below for details)

Features of Conditional Fee Agreements:

Agreement between solicitor and client

Used in civil (non-family) cases

Client does not pay solicitor

If client wins, solicitor is paid normal fee uplift fee to reflect

risk. Uplift fee is payable by losing side as well as award of compensation

and insurance premium (see below)

If client loses, solicitor is paid nothing and costs payable to other

(winning) side are covered by after-the-event insurance (premium paid by

client or solicitor)

Maximum uplift should be no more than 100% of normal fee and not more

than 25% of the awarded compensation

Introduced under the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990. Brought in by

the Lord Chancellor for personal injury, insolvency and European Convention

on Human Rights cases in 1995

Extended to all civil cases, except family, in 1998

 

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