Wealthy face bar on legal aid

Taxpayers' bill for two defendants The public cost of mounting The tale of two trials Jawad Hashim's Civil Legal Aid Bill. The total costs claimed are pounds 4.1m of which pounds 2.8 has been paid.

To Counsel total pounds 1.318m.

Colin Ross-Monro QC pounds 671,111.

Ian Brownlie QC pounds 69,178.

Hugo Page pounds 438,523.

Adam Lewis pounds 139,190.

To Solicitors, Landau and Scanlan, London pounds 644,000.

Disbursements for experts, eg accountants pounds 835,000.

Ernest Saunders Criminal Legal Aid Bill.

Trial: Counsel: Richard Ferguson QC pounds 315,987.

Tony Shaw QC pounds 258,581.

Solicitors: Pannone Blackburn, Manchester pounds 650,573.

Landau and Landau, London pounds 46,901.

Appeal: Counsel pounds 35,487.

Solicitors pounds 34,925.

Proposals to prevent the rich obtaining huge amounts of legal aid to fight civil and criminal cases are to be published next month.

Prompted by concern that taxpayers have paid the million-pound-plus legal bills of a string of businessmen, Lord Mackay, the Lord Chancellor, is to issue a consultation paper focusing on 'apparently wealthy individuals' as part of his wider review of legal aid.

The latest in the litany, which includes Asil Nadir, former chairman of Polly Peck, Ernest Saunders, former Guinness chairman, and financier Peter Clowes, is Dr Jawad Hashim, who so far has received pounds 2.8m in legal aid in a civil action in which he was ordered to pay pounds 133m damages to his former employer.

Normally, wealthy people such as Dr Hashim, who reputedly owns six homes and employs servants, would not qualify for aid. But the Benefits Agency of the Legal Aid Board, which decides on eligibility, cannot take into account any assets either claimed by the other party in the case or frozen by court orders. The taxpayer, in the form of the Legal Aid Board has the last claim on a defendant's wealth.

A change in this situation is expected to form one of the proposals by Lord Mackay next month. It would go some way to answering the concerns of politicians and lawyers that the wealthy are benefiting while thousands of less affluent people are denied access to justice because they fail to qualify for legal aid.

But Lord Mackay is unlikely to bow to pressure to deny foreign nationals legal aid in British courts. In a speech to barristers in London last night, he said: 'Our legal processes and our courts are not reserved to British subjects. Anybody who has a dispute which the courts have jurisdiction to hear is entitled to be heard. Whether in criminal or civil cases, the interests of justice do not end at national boundaries.'

Lord Mackay was criticised last year when, aiming to reduce the annual pounds 1.4bn spent on legal aid, he cut the earnings limit for eligibility from pounds 145 a week to pounds 70. Many argued only the rich and the poor had access to justice.

This week, the Bar Council proposed that anyone found not to have disclosed all assets should forfeit undisclosed assets to the Legal Aid Board.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones
i100
Arts and Entertainment
music

News
Russell Brand at an anti-austerity march in June
peopleActor and comedian says 'there's no point doing it if you're not'
Sport
Sergio Aguero prepares for the game
football

Follow the latest events from this Champions League fixture

Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol
art'Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' followed hoax reports artist had been arrested and unveiled
News
i100
Voices
Oscar Pistorius is led out of court in Pretoria. Pistorius received a five-year prison sentence for culpable homicide by judge Thokozile Masipais for the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp
voicesThokozile Masipa simply had no choice but to jail the athlete
Arts and Entertainment
Sister Cristina Scuccia sings 'Like a Virgin' in Venice
music

Like Madonna, Sister Cristina Scuccia's video is also set in Venice

Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004
music

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

Life and Style
The Tinder app has around 10 million users worldwide

techThe original free dating app will remain the same, developers say

News
news

Endangered species spotted in a creek in the Qinling mountains

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

IT Security Advisor – Permanent – Surrey - £60k-£70k

£60000 - £70000 Per Annum plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...

MI Analyst – Permanent – West Sussex – £25k-£35k

£25000 - £35000 Per Annum plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...

Geography Teacher

£100 - £160 per day + mileage and expenses: Randstad Education Leeds: This out...

KS2 supply teacher

£80 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: We are currently recruiting fo...

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album