Letter:Cutting legal fees will mean less justice

Share
Related Topics
Sir: It is impossible not to sympathise with Michael Bolger, but I dispute the conclusions invited by Patricia Wynn Davies' article (26 July).

As a former solicitor, and now a practising barrister, I have had a wide experience of lay clients. One client would not accept the view of any expert, however able, unless it exactly coincided with her ideas of what was the cause of her husband's death. Another would not accept that his colostomy could not be blamed upon the solicitor and estate agent who had negligently handled his house sale. These, and many others, would all tell you, mistakenly, that the legal system for claiming compensation had let them down.

There are a vast number of people like this and most of them will be persuaded by the publicity surrounding Lord Woolf's initiative that, by waving a magic wand, the noble Lord will give them exactly what they want, when they want it. In other words, that a plaintiff will no longer have to go through the tedious process of proving his claim when the defendant disputes it, but that suddenly his path will be smoothed and in a brace of shakes, judgment will be given for him. They are in for a great disappointment.

Many cases take so long partly because the defendants do not always agree that they have been negligent and so on; partly because those who insure or employ defendants seek to avoid payment of damages; and partly because all those involved, one way or another, in the litigation process - doctors, lawyers, surveyors, actuaries, as well as lay witnesses - all have lives to lead and do not, or cannot, regard Plaintiff A as the only star in their firmament. And partly because (in legal aid cases) fees are low and the lawyer who has to make a living cannot give all his attention to one case. Cutting fees still further will mean less justice and a longer time to achieve it.

STANLEY BEST

Pinner

Middlesex

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

BI Manager - £50,000

£49000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client is...

BI Project Manager - £48,000 - £54,000 - Midlands

£48000 - £54000 per annum + Benefits package: Progressive Recruitment: My clie...

VB.Net Developer

£35000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: If you're pa...

SAP Business Consultant (SD, MM and FICO), £55,000, Wakefield

£45000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP Business...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

The law is too hard on sexting teenagers

Memphis Barker
 

Obama must speak out – Americans are worried no one is listening to them

David Usborne
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn