A Shropshire law firm says that proposed government cuts in Legal Aid could have disastrous consequences for families who need to go to court over their children - but they are committed to helping those in need.
Family Lawyer Robert Adams, of Shrewsbury based Wace Morgan Solicitors, has more than 20 years’ experience in this sector and is a member of the Law Society Family Law Panel. He says he has seen Legal Aid funding being reduced over the last two decades but the cuts planned for April 2013 will have severe consequences for disadvantaged people.
“Parents unable to pay for a lawyer will be forced to represent themselves at court proceedings to obtain contact with their children and this could have a disastrous affect on his their ability to get justice,” he explained.
Mr Adams said that if proposed changes to the law went through, then from April 2013 no one would get public funding for representation in private law child proceedings, if not involving a council.
“As a family lawyer, the affect of the cuts on the way family law is conducted in the courts will be devastating,” said Mr Adams.
“Those who cannot afford to pay for legal help will be left with either representing themselves at court or not bothering, simply because they are fearful of the process and whether they would be able to cope with it, or, possibly, out of fear of having to confront the person they are in dispute with.
“The public funding system has been subjected to successive reductions by governments over the last 20 years or so but now is heading towards its most serious and deep seated cut in April 2013. In recent months there have been many longstanding solicitors who have withdrawn from the public funding system, leaving only a handful to manage what appears to be this ‘sinking ship’.
“However, Wace Morgan is committed to this sector and will continue to receive new publicly funded clients until we no longer allowed to do so and any parents who want to find out more should contact us for advice,” Mr Adams stressed.
For more information, please call Mr Adams on 01743 280100.
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