Missing the point somewhat

November 26, 2010

Posted by: Jo Chapman

Was Jonathan Djanogly (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (HM Courts Service and Legal Aid), Justice; Huntingdon, Conservative) being deliberately obtuse during his answer to the question put by Robert Halfon (Harlow Conservative) on the likely withdrawal of public funding for clinical negligence cases? The exchange went like this:

Robert Halfon (Harlow, Conservative)

Is there not a danger that, given the complexity of clinical negligence cases, [if legal aid is withdrawn] the most vulnerable will not have access to no win, no fee simply because such companies will not offer their services to them?

Jonathan Djanogly

There will still be power to grant legal aid in exceptional cases where a CFA will not be available, although it will be restricted. The fact remains that CFAs will still be available for people with no ability to fund their cases so that they can take proceedings.

The point IS, Mr Djanogly, that CFAs will NOT be available in complex clinical negligence cases unless a firm of solicitors is reasonably confident that they will win – and how on earth can they know that without doing substantial work first, which costs money.

Jo is a Partner specialising in catastrophic personal injury and clinical negligence claims.

Posted by: Jo Chapman


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