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Professional negligence lawyers and community legal companions

14th January 2013


However, it seems that the controversy just won’t go away and, in some areas, is even gathering pace.

For example, it has now been revealed that, among myriad concerns about cuts in legal aid funding and no-win, no-fee funding leading to restrictions in access to justice, we are now being asked to consider the idea of “community legal companions”.

It is a curious job description, “community legal companion”, just what would it mean? Early indications suggest that in many cases a community legal companion would be a student lawyer who would actually act in lieu of a professional negligence lawyer – in essence, an amateur.

It is hard to escape the question: would you be comfortable with the idea of a student representing your case in place of a professional negligence lawyer with years of knowledge and experience of important details such as mediation, alternative dispute resolution, litigation, and settlement?

The Bar Council is right on this one, the idea of community legal companions “is not a solution”.


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