Solicitors expands as legal aid budget contracts
One of the region’s leading law firms is expanding into a new office as controversial legal aid cuts kick in.
Williscroft & Co Solicitors now has an office in Keighley after seeing an increasing number of people coming from the area seeking help – and is expecting even more now the Government’s legal aid cuts have begun.
The move comes as the firm, which specialises in family law, including international child abduction, collaborative law and forced marriage issues, believes there will be a huge impact as a result of the cuts, as the Government tries to slash the legal aid bill by £350m a year by 2015.
In response to the cuts, which Williscroft & Co thinks could leave many victims of domestic abuse vulnerable and exposed and unable to get the legal representation they need, the firm has introduced a unique new fixed fee service designed to help people pick and choose help based on their budget.
The firm is also launching a mediation arm so people do not have to go through court with a new expert mediator, Alexis Walker, joining the team.
Legal aid is available for help through the mediation arm, which will give people the opportunity to resolve their disputes in a less confrontational way without the long lasting negative effects of a court battle.
Lindsey Johnson one of four partners at Williscroft & Co, said the timing of the expansion to New Devonshire House, Devonshire Street, Keighley, could not have been better.
“We strongly believe the cuts in legal aid will affect low income families across Bradford and Keighley the hardest,” she said.
“Many people have no idea these cuts are now in place, and it is only when they need the services of good solicitors, like us, the impact of them will be felt.
“Contrary to the aims of the new laws, we believe the cuts in legal aid could have a detrimental effect, leaving people to represent themselves in court, wasting court time and in some extreme cases possibly taking the law into their own hands when they cannot afford the legal help they need and expect.
“We have predominantly dealt with thousands of legal aid cases through the years, and we do not feel the Government have got it right with the cuts.
“But we’re an ambitious and growing firm and our expansion into Keighley and our new fixed fee service shows we will be there for anyone who needs us.
“We have been getting a lot of clients from the Keighley area and opening a new office in the town was a natural progression and increases our offering across the district.”
Based in Little Germany, Bradford, Williscroft & Co has been established for more than 25 years and includes a staff of 30 which specialises in the emotive areas of family, education, child, housing and benefit law, supporting some of the region’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged families.
Each of the four Williscroft partners June Kelly, Lindsey Johnson, Stephanie Adams and Lucy Cohen, actively campaigned against the Government’s plans to cut the legal aid budget.
For more information on the Williscroft fixed fee and mediation services call office manager Michelle Plant on 01274 305380 or go to www.williscroft.co.uk
This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Jonathan Redhead .
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