Letter: No law for the poor

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The Independent Online
Sir: Geoffrey Hoon asserts (letter, 2 December) that small high- street solicitor's practices, if well managed, may well be better off with conditional fees than legal aid.

The true position is that these small practices are not going to be able to conduct personal injury claims on behalf of the poor. Most people, in my experience, rapidly become poor when laid off work through injury. They are going to be more anxious to use their reduced income to keep the mortgage paid and the kids fed than paying court fees, doctors' fees and insurance premiums. All the specialist expertise in the office is scarcely likely to change that.

Small practices need to be able to offer their clients a full range of services across a wide income spectrum. The Government's proposals attack that.

D G R NEWMAN

Warrington, Cheshire

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