November 16th, 2010
Lawyers at a Bradford firm will be able to help more people fight their cases with the support of Legal Aid funding after passing a vigorous official assessment process.
Solicitors at city centre firm QualitySolicitors Morrish are now able to offer Legal Aid in three specialist areas – medical negligence, discrimination and professional negligence after being vetted by the Legal Services Commission.
The expansion of its Legal Aid operations has been achieved against a background of severe cuts to national Legal Aid budgets.
The firm, which re-branded earlier this year, has a long-standing history of providing Legal Aid for medical negligence claims in the Bradford area.
Managing partner Duncan Gardiner believes Morrish is the only Bradford law firm able to offer Legal Aid in all three areas of law.
He said: “It’s important for people in Bradford postcodes to know where they can turn when they need expert legal advice, particularly during economic hardship.
“There are certain areas of law where you need specialist advice if you want your claim to succeed. If you take advice from a lawyer who is not a specialist, you could risk losing your case and possibly paying the other side’s legal costs as well.
“These are the kind of niche areas where we can offer Legal Aid to the Bradford community.”
Solicitor Jane McBennett, who has retained Bradford’s medical negligence franchise for more than ten years, said she was delighted to be able to continue assisting medical accident victims to recover compensation.
She said: “It is important that everyone has access to justice, regardless of their income.”
Morrish’s discrimination department, headed by Baldeep Thiara, specialises in representing clients with claims in the workplace on issues such as race, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion and belief.
“In the economic climate, many workers feel obliged to cling to their jobs, despite sometimes quite adverse conditions and poor treatment. Being able to offer those people Legal Aid support in discrimination claims is particularly important at such times,” said Mr Thiara.
Mr Gardiner, who handles both medical and professional negligence claims, said the firm’s success in expanding its Legal Aid franchises would be a great benefit to Bradford.
He said: “Many firms have been slashed from the Legal Aid panels this year, so it is great that a Bradford firm has been recognised in these specialist areas.”
Morrish, which specialises in trade union law, was established in 1882 and has offices in Leeds, Yeadon and Pudsey. The firm opened its Bradford office on Broadway a year ago.
Source: Telegraph & Argus