Cartridges Law backs campaign to restore crucial early legal advice

Cartridges Law backs campaign to restore crucial early legal advice

Solicitors Cartridges Law are calling for improved access to legal advice, as part of a national review.

The St Thomas-based company are the only Exeter law firm taking part in the Government’s review of the 2012 Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO).

They are backing a campaign, led by the Law Society of England and Wales, to get the Government to restore legal aid for early legal advice as part of the review.

Cartridges Law are now asking others to get involved by writing to the Lord Chancellor to urge him to reintroduce legal aid for early advice in housing and family law.

Penny Scott, managing partner at Cartridges Law, said

“We are supporting the Law Society’s Early Advice campaign because the benefits of early legal advice are clear. Not only does early legal advice help people to resolve their problems more quickly, it can also prevent problems from getting worse and becoming more costly for the individual as well as the taxpayer. Everyone can help by taking just two minutes to write to the Lord Chancellor and asking him to restore legal aid for early advice.”

Since early legal aid was stopped by the Government in 2012, many people have been unable to get crucial legal advice to help deal with problems early and stop them from getting worse.

  • Early advice is vital in housing law. For example, a lack of early advice for minor disrepair issues can mean issues such as faulty electrics or a leaking roof escalate, potentially creating health, social and financial problems.
  • Early advice is also important in family law, but is no longer available for family breakdown and child arrangements. Because of this mediation referrals have plummeted, putting pressure on courts and therefore public finances.

Research conducted for the Law Society shows a clear statistical link between getting early legal advice and resolving problems sooner.

The research found that, on average, 1 in 4 people who receive early legal advice had their problem resolved within 3-4 months. For those who did not receive early legal advice, it took 9 months for 1 in 4 people to have resolved their issue.

New analysis, published by the Law Society, also shows that properly funded early legal advice saves taxpayers’ money. Without it, more cases are ending up in court because people are unable to get legal advice on the merits of their case at an early stage and are forced to represent themselves.

Court statistics show that in 2016-17, 64% of parties in private family law proceedings were unrepresented.

For more information and to support the campaign, visit: www.lawsociety.org.uk/policy-campaigns/campaigns/early-advice

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