Steve Cornforth

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Back in 2014 I posted about my top 5 legal blogs. We are now in 2019 and it is fair to say that the world has changed.  At that that time we were just getting used to LASPO. Most people had not heard of #Brexit. We still had, what seemed to be, a functioning criminal justice system. As far as we knew the law was breaking but not yet broken…quite. There are also many more…
The lack of availability of legal aid for Inquests is in the news again. We have already had the controversy of the refusal of legal aid for the family of Molly Russell whose death was thought to be linked to Social Media. This decision was eventually reversed by the Legal Aid Agency after wide criticism – In August 2019 there was a further outcry when families of the Manchester Bombing victims faced a similar struggle…
Anyone who has read this blog knows that I do not pretend to be an expert in criminal law. I did spend a couple of years at the start of my legal life, hanging around Liverpool Magistrates Court. It was a terrifying experience – and that was just the magistrates and some of the older lawyers who seemed to know everything, and everyone compared to me! I also spent some time sitting behind impressive barristers…
There is much anger in the media today about the news that Hashem Abedi, brother of Manchester bomber, Salman Abedi will have the benefit of legal aid to defend criminal proceedings brought against him. The Daily Mirror complains that he will have public funds to cover his legal costs whereas the families of victims have struggled to get legal aid for representation at the inquests. The anger is, on this occasion, entirely understandable although the…
Almost all the Harry Potter books feature an introduction to the new Professor of Defence Against the Dark Arts. This is usually because the previous incumbent has come to a nasty end in the previous book. All of which brings me to the latest Secretary of State for Justice, a position which is renewed with similar regularity, possibly for similar reasons. Our latest Lord Chancellor is Robert Buckland QC, who was previously, Solicitor General and…
I have written before about the discount rate. It is an extremely important part of our system of compensation for injured people, despite its rather understated name. In short it is a principle that tries to ensure that victims are not over or under compensated. The rate is what an award of damages is assumed to earn over a long period of time. The idea of compensation is to put the victim in the position…
Outside the Evertton Boardroom at the Liver Building It is truth, universally acknowledged, that I am an Everton FC fan and proudly bitter. This was of course the background to my recent ‘walk of shame’ for charity where I raised £1000 for wearing a shirt of a certain other local team. No, I am not posting a photograph. There is no shortage of them around! – I recently visited Everton’s new HQ in the iconic…
The first time I secured a settlement in a brain injury case was in the late 1990s.  It was a claim for a child who suffered from cerebral palsy following medical negligence in the first few days of his life. He was left with catastrophic injuries. He has no speech and no independent movement but is otherwise as intelligent as anybody. We secured a settlement of just over £2m. As is often the case, I…
Why does this keep happening? We read today about yet another fee earner whose career in in tatters because they have tried to cover up mistakes – In this case there were three cases where deadlines had been missed by a few days. Rather than admit the mistake the non-qualified case handler dishonestly back dated documents to mislead the court and the other side. In each of these cases the problem was probably capable of…
Back in 1999, I wrote the Letter of the Week in the New Statesman magazine. This was what you did in the days before Twitter! I was responding to the Labour Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine’s proposed cuts to Legal Aid. The attacks on legal aid lawyers were relentless. That was the start of the falling dominos that has led us to the legal aid waste land that we have today. Who would have thought back…