A recent Court of Appeal decision last week (11 December 2015) has ruled that "it [is] no longer appropriate to treat delay in obtaining Legal Aid as a complete answer to a failure to comply with procedural requirements". GCN's Gary Willock has provided brief commentary below:

Kigen and Anor, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] EWCA Civ 1286

This decision is worth reading in full although the central point is set out below:

[20] "...solicitors in general may have been under the impression that any delay awaiting a decision by the Legal Aid Agency would simply be ignored if an extension of time were required as a result. That is not the case and it is to be hoped that any such misunderstanding will have been dispelled as a result of the decision in this case. Those acting for parties in the position of these appellants will in future need to take steps either to lodge the necessary form promptly on behalf of their clients or to advise them of the need to do so on their own behalf."

This case is of relevance to civil practitioners working in Legal Aid who may be arguing delays with the LAA as justification for the court to exercise its discretion in relation to failure to comply with court deadlines.

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Gary Willock  has a broad knowledge of housing law and has been practising in this area for the over 10 years. He also has experience of health and welfare applications in the Court of Protection and cases involving DOLS, along with a particular interest in cases concerning Disability Discrimination issues and community care law.

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