Saturday, June 27, 2009

SLAB Ordered to Pay Defendant's Costs

Apparently the Scottish Legal Aid Board have been ordered to pay a man's legal cost for defending court actions paid for by the Board. After William Bohannon separated from his partner he tried to get her to pay a personal bond of £50k he had loaned to her. His ex-partner refused, was sequestrated and then raised actions in the Court of Session in Edinburgh seeking to recall the sequestration and have the personal bond set aside. Carol Ballard, or Young as she is now after marriage, was granted legal aid to fund her actions but both actions failed.

Mr Bohannon successfully defended the actions, but was left with lawyers' bills of more than £33,500 and asked the Court to find the legal aid board liable for his expenses in the action. To clarify, when assessing someone's eligibility for legal aid SLAB must follow rules set down in law by Parliament so there needs to be a legal basis for a case as well as it being reasonable in the particular circumstances to award legal aid. The solicitors acting for William Bohannon had repeatedly raised with SLAB there were problems and asked that legal aid granted to Carol Young be suspended.

Lord Brodie said "The board has not chosen to defend its conduct in the matter" and he was satisfied that Mr Bohannon would suffer financial hardship if no order was made.

Full article Source The Herald 27 June 2009


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