Thursday, June 27, 2013

News: Presidential visit for Rotherham solicitor


President of the Law Society, Lucy Scott-Moncrieff paid a recent visit to Rotherham solicitor, Oxley & Coward to hear about their innovative approach to the challenges brought about following changes made to Legal Aid, and to find out more about the firm's "Pay as You Go" initiative.

Dating back to 1825, the Law Society represents solicitors in England and Wales, offering training and advice, lobbying the government and promoting the profession. The president has been on a mission to gather good ideas and best practice, in order to share her findings with other legal practitioners.

The controversial changes to Legal Aid have been at the forefront of many minds in the legal profession and the president was keen to learn more about Oxley & Coward's novel approach to tackling the issue.

From April 1, Legal Aid was reserved for the most serious cases, forcing everyone else to find a way of funding the legal services they need or go it alone. Oxley & Coward has been determined to come up with a solution; and while nothing can replace Legal Aid for those facing divorce and child contact arrangements, the firm has devised a Pay as You Go scheme in an attempt to bridge the gap.

Sarah Scott, partner and head of the family department at Oxley & Coward, said: "Our approach to Legal Aid has been described as "unbundling", but after our meeting, Lucy and I agreed to refer to it as Pay as You Go, as it's a description the public is familiar with and can more easily relate to.

"Lucy seemed really interested in what we are doing to assist those clients who can no longer rely on Legal Aid and we are delighted she thought our scheme worth discussing in person and her visit was much appreciated. It demonstrates that matters of great legal importance like this are not just discussed in London."

"On behalf of Oxley & Coward and Rotherham, it was my pleasure to welcome the Law Society President to South Yorkshire. The visit was always intended to be low-key and informal, yet Lucy and I had a very constructive meeting concerning the changes to Legal Aid, while still finding time to show the President around the town and sample some Yorkshire hospitality with tea and cakes at Sophisticakes on the High Street."

The Oxley & Coward Family Department undertakes a wide variety of legal work and is currently the largest family department in Rotherham. Colin Musgrave has recently been promoted to associate solicitor in the department.

Oxley & Coward website

Images: Oxley & Coward


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