Legal Matters: ‘Legal aid changes hit vulnerable clients’

Ridley & Hall Legal family solicitor and mediator Vicky Medd.Ridley & Hall Legal family solicitor and mediator Vicky Medd.
Ridley & Hall Legal family solicitor and mediator Vicky Medd.
Legal Matters Q&A

What’s the biggest development you’ve seen in the legal world during your career?

The introduction of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment Act 2012 (LAPSO). This has meant thousands of people, who previously would have been eligible for legal aid, are now out of scope.

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We have had many vulnerable clients who desperately need legal advice coming to us, and who can no longer afford to get good legal advice from a solicitor. The impact of this is only now hitting the Courts. Increased numbers of people representing themselves means delays in hearings. In addition, many people are simply not accessing the family court system at all.

What law would you like to see changed?

The Government promised several years ago grandparents would be given the right to make an application to court for contact with grandchildren, without having to ask permission from the Courts to do so. This has still not happened.

What is the most exciting work you have ever done?

I think my job is pretty exciting most of the time! I really enjoy seeing a job through from start to finish, and seeing the change in my clients.

Who in the legal world do you most admire?

Helena Kennedy, the barrister, and member of the House of Lords. She has always championed women and civil rights. She always argues intelligently, and with wit.