Solicitors from Local Law Societies Gather for a Reception at the House of Commons
Solicitors from local law societies across the country were pleased to hear from the Lord Chancellor, The Rt. Hon. David Gauke MP and Chairman of the Justice Select Committee Bob Neill MP at a reception in the House of Commons this month. The reception was hosted by the County Societies Group and sponsored by Torbay MP Kevin Foster.
The County Societies Group comprises Cheshire & North Wales, Devon & Somerset, Kent, Leicestershire, Newcastle and Surrey law societies and represent over 5000 solicitors. Members of these societies were supported by national Law Society President Joe Egan and had the opportunity to speak to MPs and Peers about the many issues facing the profession.
Solicitors have a professional duty to uphold the rule of law. The County Societies Group is worried about the lack of public funding for the administration of justice and changes to professional rules that has left clients unable to access quality legal advice and access to justice.
David Gauke, who is also a solicitor and the first to hold the position of Lord Chancellor, said that a thriving legal profession was essential in a civilised society.
Bob Neill echoed these words saying that legal services were not a commodity and that greater public investment was needed to ensure access to justice for everyone. He called on the profession to engage with MPs and to furnish them with the evidence about how current policy was impacting on their practices and clients.
Devon & Somerset Law Society’s President Stephen Mahoney set out some of the challenges facing solicitors and highlighted the decline in those willing and able to undertake Criminal Defence and Housing work under the existing arrangements. He drew attention to The Law Society’s campaign to reintroduce legal aid for early advice in Family Law and Housing Law and urged MPs to support this.