Steve Cornforth

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I am currently reading The Windrush Betrayal: Exposing the Hostile Environment by Amelia Gentleman. You don’t need me to tell you that this was one of the greatest scandals of the last 50 years. Ordinary working people who had been in the UK for 40 – 50 years suddenly and inexplicably found themselves in the middle of a nightmare. They were caretakers, ambulance drivers, cleaners, teachers, care workers, nurses. They were parents, grandparents and friends…
The words law and justice are normally inseparable. The aim of a legal system is to promote justice. The most familiar image that is associated with our legal system is one of scales of justice. This is, or rather should be, a statement of the obvious. It seems however that costs savings now trump justice in some cases. This is the disturbing outcome of the recent judgment in A v B which was recently reported…
One thing that will never be the same after the current lockdown, is my appreciation of nature and the outdoors. I have had an interest in wildlife and nature for a while, especially as my photography skills have grown. But, a bit like work, it has been something that I ‘go to’. So, we travelled across the Atlantic to see sloths in Costa Rica or to the Red Sea to experience Picasso fish. What lockdown…
The Supreme Court has refused permission to appeal in the case of Aldred v Cham which concerns the costs of obtaining counsel’s advice in a case where a child is involved, and the approval of the court is required. https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2019/1780.html This is a very familiar situation. The child claimant suffers an injury. The family instruct solicitors who successfully pursue a claim for damages. In most cases the approval of the court is required. CPR 21.10…
I have to confess to being a collector of useless information. I once spent a long flight home from Los Angeles memorising all of the state capitals of the USA. I think the obsession goes back the days of memorising lists of cases when I was a law student. I am also a fan of the TV show Pointless which probably says something.  All of which brings me to the Great North West Virtual Legal…
The question that many are asking is whether lawyers will ever return to working the way they did before the lockdown. According to a report in Legal Cheek there is a significant majority who want to continue to work at home – https://www.legalcheek.com/2020/05/over-60-of-legal-staff-want-to-work-from-home-post-lockdown/ Legal work has been moving in this direction for some time. I am old enough to remember the days of a local High Street office where the main source of work was…
Across England*, many will be scratching their heads and wondering whether they are supposed to be going to work today, or not. Such is the level of uncertainty that has followed the Prime Minister’s broadcast yesterday. So what did he actually say about work. His opening words do not really change anything for some– “We said that you should work from home if you can, and only go to work if you must..” That is…
I wrote the other day about the important work done by lawyers much of which is overlooked in the face of hostile media coverage and political rhetoric. In that post I mentioned those lawyers who go the extra mile for clients, who act as a friend and support. This is work for which they rarely receive any payment or public acknowledgement.   So, let’s look at this in more detail. My earlier post shared a…
If this sector is wiped out, there will be a hole in our justice system that will take a long time to mend. Two reports in the last few days raise the alarming news of existential threats to whole areas of the legal profession. Last week we read that as many as 70% of young barristers will not survive in practice for more than 6 months. Those who do legally aided work will be the…
“I refuse to believe that you cannot be both compassionate and strong” – Jacinda Ardern The Prime Minister of New Zealand has drawn praise from across the world for her openness and leadership through the difficulties of the last few weeks. From her voluntary pay cut, to assuring the children of her country that the Easter Bunny was a key worker she has stood in stark contrast to some other world leaders. The current crisis…