Civil liberties barristers to form new low cost chambers after closure

Family Law|News|September 25th 2013

Fifteen members of London barristers Tooks Chambers are to form a new organisation after Tooks announced plans to close.

Tooks, renowned for its legal aid and civil liberties work, is headed by high profile barrister Michael Mansfield QC.

The chambers announced its closure plans in a strongly worded statement:

“It is with great regret that Tooks Chambers has decided to begin the process of dissolution. Tooks Chambers has a proud record of defending the rights of the under privileged and the oppressed. From its early days of defending miners and their communities during their year long strike, consistently tackling miscarriages of justice such as the Birmingham Six and representing the family of Stephen Lawrence, to its current involvement in landmark cases such as the Hillsborough Inquests and the AHK judicial review, members of chambers have sought to hold the state to account.”

It added:

“The dissolution of Chambers is the direct result of government policies on Legal Aid. The public service we provide is dependent on public funding. 90% of our work is publicly funded. The government policies led by Justice Secretary Chris Grayling are cumulatively devastating the provision of legal services and threatening the rule of law.”

Mr Mansfield and other barristers now plan to establish a new ‘low cost’ organisation to be called Mansfield Chambers, the Law Society Gazette reports. This will be based in a different office with reduced overheads and make extensive use of free software to cut costs.

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  1. Paul says:

    Well there’s one answer to the problems that face us all. You adapt, just like the rest of us.

    Legal aid in family cases is an abomination.

  2. Luke says:

    “Self-styled ‘radical lawyer’ Mr Mansfield has benefited from legal aid throughout his lengthy career.
    He was paid £743,421 during the Saville Inquiry into Bloody Sunday, which cost taxpayers £195million. ”

    I find it very revealing that Michael Mansfield says that he will continue by cutting costs, it’s a shame he couldn’t have done that before – it’s long overdue that he was booted off the gravy train – but he won’t be, there’s plenty of opportunity for him to indulge in the future as legal aid is still massive.

  3. Tulsa Divorce Lawyer Matt Ingham says:

    I do not know enough about this organization to be able to comment.

  4. Luke says:

    Oh by the way, my mistake – the £195m estimated cost for the Saville inquiry was a not a very accurate figure as it turned out – the current estimate is thought to be £400m – yes – FOUR HUNDRED MILLION pounds…

  5. sannah says:

    how much was Michael Mansfield paid to be on the Lawrence case anyone know?

  6. Andrew says:

    Did Mansfield and his stable-mates obey the cab-rank rule or did they only take the left-wing cases? Would they have taken a case against the trade unions?

  7. Andrew says:

    Mansfield was not legally aided in the Lawrence case; it was a private prosecution. How much he was paid is between him, the solicitors who instructed him, and the Revenue and nobody else. I don’t like the man, I think he is full of what bears leave in the woods and babies in nappies, but he is entitled to his privacy.

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