Clients’ stories request

Request from YLAL’s Siobhan- for clients’ stories

As well as being a YLAL member I am also a member of the Access to Justice Committee of Liverpool Law Society. At a recent meeting the committee was told about an information gathering project currently being undertaken by Andrew Caplen (Law Society President).

Mr Caplen wants to gather information regarding the ways in which access to justice has been affected under LASPO. He wants to gather real stories about real clients who have been unable to gain adequate/any legal advice, support or representation because of the changes, reforms and cuts brought in by LASPO and since.

If you have had to: 

1. Turn away a client who you may have previously been able to advise;

2. Help a client only so far before sending them off to deal with their case as a litigant in person where before you could have offered assistance and representation right the way through their case;

3.  Send a client elsewhere (eg: McKenzie Friend or to the PSU) where they could get some moral support and general advice but could not get the specialist legal advice and representation you could have previously offered;

then I would be really grateful if you could pass on your story. I am particularly interested in examples where it can be shown that the help the client received after you were unable to help them was inadequate or insufficient as compared to the help you could have given should the funding still have been available, or where the client was no longer able gain any assistance at all. The aim is to provide concrete examples of real cases where a person’s experience of accessing justice has been detrimentally affected by the legal aid reforms.

Examples of any areas of law will be gratefully received, including matrimonial, employment, immigration, crime, domestic violence, family or anything else. 

Anybody who is working in the Liverpool or Merseyside area please contact me ( with your examples and I will feed it back to our local Access to Justice Committee. As Liverpool’s is the only local Access to Justice Committee anybody working in any other locality should find out who their local Law Society council member is and ask them directly if they would like to receive evidence on this which they could then present to the national council.

I’d be really grateful if some of you could help with this, we must keep the pressure on the government about how access to justice has been affected by their cuts and reforms and the more representations made to them the better!

If anybody has any questions then please let me know and can you please send any examples in within the next fortnight if possible.