Closure

 
PUBLIC LAW SOLICITORS’ CLOSURE


It is with great regret that we wish to announce that Public Law Solicitors will be closing on 19 June 2015.


Public Law Solicitors was formed in 2003. Over a period of nearly 12 years we believe we have made an important contribution in the field of social welfare and general public law. Public Law Solicitors, however, has always been a small firm, entirely dependent for all aspects of its management and legal work on its three partners and a team of dedicated legal and administrative staff.


In the last few months one of our partners has announced that he is leaving Public Law Solicitors. After much consideration we have decided that it is not practical for us to continue to keep the firm going. With the breaking up of the founding partnership team we believe that we would not be able to undertake the increasingly onerous responsibility of managing a niche practice and maintaining our high standards of work for our clients. Although we have made this decision having regard to an increasingly hostile environment for legal aid lawyers we remain committed to the principle of the legal aid scheme and to the right of those without adequate financial means to be able to exercise their legal rights.

This has not been an easy decision but we think it is the right one. We wish to stress that closure has not been forced on us by financial considerations.

We will miss our colleagues who have made such a great success of  Public Law Solicitors over the past 12 years.  We are proud of what we have achieved together in that time.  We also hope that as many of our staff who wish to do so will be able to continue to work in this field.  There are already too few, whether as practitioners or support staff, specialising in public law.  Two of our partners, Karen Ashton and Alastair Wallace will continue in practice.  Karen will be working with Coventry Law Centre to further develop their public interest litigation work in the region, with a particular focus initially on the issues in social care arising from the new Care Act 2014.  Alastair will be joining Irwin Mitchell ’s national public law department to lead their Birmingham public law team. He will continue to specialise in the full range of claimant based judicial review including his work on behalf of community groups in the planning and environmental fields. Steve is leaving private practice to join the legal team at the Equality and Human Rights Commission in London as a human rights lawyer    

 Lastly, we wish to pay tribute to our clients for whom it has been our privilege to act.  We are often  astonished by their courage and tenacity at times of great stress, often taking on issues not only because of the need to solve real problems in their own lives but because  of their wish to bring about change for all those in the same situation. We set up the firm with the aim of   making our contribution to improving the accountability of public authorities to those whose lives are dependent on their decisions, and  we hope that we have been able to give our clients a  voice that they would not otherwise have had.

 
Karen Ashton

Steven Lodge

Alastair Wallace

Public law Solicitors

20 April 2015