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10/03/2008

Not for Profits in trouble?

Madeleine Bunting has an editorial in the Grauniad decrying the civil legal aid reforms, in particular for the effect on the Not for Profits, as well as the ‘paralegal in call centre’ approach.

Apparently Gateshead Law Centre went into receivership last week and Devon (Plymouth?) is on the brink.

As far as I recall, these are both examples of the ‘Not London’ areas that the LSC was insisting would actually see an increase in income from the £171 fixed fee Legal Help. Hmm.

Somehow, I suspect we’ll see more Law Centre closures before too long.

Giles Peaker is a solicitor and partner in the Housing and Public Law team at Anthony Gold Solicitors in South London. You can find him on Linkedin and on Twitter. Known as NL round these parts.

3 Comments

  1. housinganger

    Working as a sole CLS worker at a CAB then for good or bad (personally I think bad) I think the days of CAB’s running sole contracts or 2 or 3 contracts are also numbered.

    If and when such contracts are renewed with other providers remains to be seen I guess. Emphasis certainly seems to be on quantity rather than quality.

    Reply
  2. Nearly Legal

    That’s very worrying, given the CABs’ need for specialists. This is the part that really worries me – the first stop advice agencies are getting it in the neck. A good advice agency, with decent referral arrangements with specialist firms, can be a very effective set up. Much better in terms of both advice provision and specialist skilled response than a ‘one stop shop’.

    Reply
  3. Colin Yeo

    South West London Law Centre is in very real danger of closing. At the last trustees meeting we unanimously decided to remain open, but only because of some very nifty financial planning by the management team. Michael Ashe, the director, has been doing some sterling work drawing attention to the situation of SWLLC, other law centres and the inherent problems in the new contract regime. He has also suddenly been given a lot of access to ministers and senior people at the LSC. Realistically, the best we can probably hope for are transitional arrangements for not-for-profits, though, I’m afraid.

    There was a good follow up to MB’s article in the Society section to the Guardian on Wednesday.

    Reply

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