A Shrewsbury legal firm which introduced a new scheme in response to government cuts to Legal Aid is reporting strong interest in the initiative from throughout the county.
The 'Legal Ease' scheme
Wace Morgan Solicitors, which has its head office in St Mary's Street and one of the largest teams of family lawyers in the region, is behind the innovative 'Legal Ease' scheme.
This was launched to help Shropshire and mid Wales families left without access to Legal Aid following the government's cuts to the Legal Aid system, which is particularly affecting those needing assistance with resolving issues relating to children.
More representation needed in children’s cases
Partner Robert Adams, who developed Legal Ease scheme, said that courts were now seeing more unrepresented parties in children proceedings, often making the relationship between parents more difficult.
"Expert legal advice and representation often eases many of the problems and tensions," he said.
Above: Robert Adams of Wace Morgan.
Offering support to local clients
Wace Morgan's 'Legal Ease' scheme means that the firm's team of specialist family lawyers either undertake their case at a reduced hourly rate - approximately the Legal Aid rate - or specify a fixed fee for the work involved.
It is available to clients who would previously have been eligible for public funding, as well as others who would not have received Legal Aid.
"This scheme is extremely popular, with our lawyers seeing a big increase in case referrals by prospective clients who want advice about a range of legal issues, not just family matters," Mr Adams commented.
"The government's changes to the Legal Aid system are really taking effect, with a major new survey showing that nationally many people are now not using professional advice because they fear it will be too expensive.
"We would say that the need for a qualified and regulated lawyer's help is essential in relation to divorce and relationship breakdown and the issues that arise from it but particularly those involving children."
Approachable and affordable
Mr Adams continued: "Many ordinary people in Shropshire need representation and are coming to us as we are approachable, offer clarity in fees and a free initial telephone call. We also offer a family mediation service and family arbitration which can make a legally binding financial award without going to court, where financial issues need to be resolved.
"These are all helping to meet a growing demand for affordable legal services and are proving to be very positive steps, both from a business perspective and from the point of view of our clients," Mr Adams added.
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