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Jamaican Founder of an online Legal Advice service criticises Government for withdrawing funding
Lloyd Barrett, Founder of expert-answers, a legal advice website, has said that withdrawing funding for Legal Aid will impact ethnic minorities severely.
“I set up expert-answers.co.uk to provide marginalised people with the opportunity to have their legal questions answered. We operate on a basis that people pay what they can afford. Access to legal advice and assistance for individuals or community groups is often confusing and difficult to obtain. This is also true of people new to the country, who are unsure of how to get the simplest of legal questions answered. Little did we know that for many people it might represent the only way they can get access to solicitors, barristers and other legal experts”.
“In my view, the removal of Legal Aid will make it extremely difficult for people who are discriminated against to access justice and enforce their legal rights. The Government suggests that advice is available free from other sources, but this is clearly not the case.”
“The Citizens Advice Bureaux is also being dismantled piece by piece, putting further pressure on resources such as ours” says Lloyd. “It is acknowledged that demand is likely to increase as Government cuts continue. Access to free legal advice across the country is sporadic, and for communities in places such as Bradford, Birmingham and Manchester, resources are oversubscribed.“
The Government itself agrees the changes to Legal Aid will hit three groups hardest: women, the disabled and ethnic minorities. However, nothing is being done to mitigate the effects of the cuts on these vulnerable groups of people.
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Note to editors
1. Hi res pictures of Lloyd Barrett are available
2. Interviews with Lloyd can be arranged
expert-answers.co.uk founders are internet marketing specialists, solicitors and business consultants based in the North West. The website is focused on UK law.
Anyone who needs to understand their own legal position can submit a question through our simple-to-use Website. They will receive an answer from one of our experienced and legally qualified experts. This will help our client decide about any future course of action. The person who poses the question also sets the price they are willing to pay, or can afford to pay. Prices set have ranged from £10 up to around £50.
Our legal experts are all qualified legal professionals. They choose a question that matches their specialism and answer it, promptly. If they require further information they may contact the client. Often the answer to the question may be clarification of the law. Sometimes the answer will simply explain the legal complexities behind an issue or include advice to engage a solicitor. In these cases the client is then clear about what the possible outcomes could be and how a solicitor might help.
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