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GOOD NEWS FOR EU CITIZENS FACING DESTITUTION BECAUSE THEY CAN’T WORK

At Legal Services Agency (LSA), we work on numerous projects aimed at reducing social inequality and disadvantage, many of which involve collaborating with other third sector organisations. Fair Way Scotland is a partnership of third sector organisations working to combat destitution and homelessness among people denied access to support on account of their immigration status.…

SALC: Launch of new website

Legal Services Agency is very pleased to share the launch of the new website for Scottish Association of Law Centres (SALC), of which LSA is a member. SALC is the national body for the not-for-profit legal sector in Scotland, and in particular, for community-based law centres across Scotland. SALC has been established to ensure the…

LSA welcomes the publication of a new guide to help businesses boost disabled people’s prospects at work

The Department for Work and Pensions, in collaboration with the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), released the guide on 9 April 2024 which can be found at Employing disabled people: Disability Confident and CIPD manager’s guide – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). The guide is a key component of the Government’s Back to Work program, which…

EMPLOYMENT LAW PROJECT YEAR IN NUMBERS

We are delighted to report that we have had another successful year with regards to our employment law project. This project was launched in April 2022 to promote employment rights and assist people facing problems at work. Please click here if you are looking for more information about the types of issues we can assist…

Making Reasonable Adjustments for Disabled Students in Further Education

Under the Equality Act 2010, all students with disabilities have the right to request for reasonable adjustments to be made, such as providing specialist equipment, and education providers have a duty to make such adjustments. Reasonable adjustments are paramount to ensuring an enjoyable and enriching learning experience and ultimately, providing fair treatment to all students.…

Consultation response to Employment Tribunal Fee Introduction

Legal Services Agency recently contributed to an important consultation by the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) regarding the potential introduction of a £55 fee to be payable by claimants when submitting an Employment Tribunal or Employment Appeal Tribunal claim. The MOJ referred to three key principles underpinning the overall proposal: affordability, proportionality and simplicity. In a…

LSA ANNUAL REPORT 2022/23 OUT NOW

We are excited to share our Annual Report highlighting developments over the last year. To view our Annual Report in pdf, please click here Annual Report 2022 2023 or watch our video below.

Eliminating Adverse Impacts for Disabled People when City Planning

The Public Sector Equality Duty, as set out in section 149 of the Equality Act 2010, requires local authorities to have due regard for the need to eliminate discrimination and advance equality for people with disabilities. This includes reducing disadvantages suffered due to a disability, meet the needs of disabled people and encourage disabled people…

Legal Services Agency Consultation Responses

Legal Services Agency has recently been invited to contribute to two important consultations due to our expertise in the areas of Criminal Injuries Compensation and Human Rights. We remain committed to ensuring social justice is available to those who might otherwise find it difficult to access legal assistance and as such, use consultations as an…

LSA addresses impact of UCI Cycling World Championships 2023 on those with disabilities

The UCI Cycling World Championships 2023 is being held in Glasgow from 3-13 August. This is a significant event which brings more than 8,000 cyclists from all over the world to compete at the highest level in 200 competitions. Whilst there is no doubt of the positive impact of this event for Glasgow due to…

Loss of Free Movement Rights

Before Brexit, EU nationals could move freely to the UK to work, without any need to apply to the Home Office for a visa. (British nationals could do the same, to other EU member states). If their earnings were low, provided their work was deemed “genuine and effective” rather than “marginal or ancillary”[1], EU workers[2]…

Legal Services Agency launches Legal Advice Service in collaboration with the MS Society

In February 2023, Legal Services Agency launched our new project with the MS Society to provide a legal advice service for people living with MS. The MS Society is a charity which supports people who have a diagnosis of MS and plays a leading role in MS research. MS stands for Multiple Sclerosis and is…

Legal Services Agency will continue to provide Emergency Court Helpdesk

Legal Services Agency is pleased to receive funding from the Scottish Government Homelessness Sector Prevention Fund, enabling us to continue to provide emergency legal representation to those facing eviction and repossession. We will be continuing to provide our helpdesk in Glasgow Sheriff Court and we are pleased to announce that similar in-person emergency helpdesk provision…

Volunteering at Legal Services Agency: Holly McGraw

Gaining practical experience as a volunteer is something I would recommend anyone to get involved in. It is especially beneficial for students who may be undertaking employment law as a module during their studies. I gained an interest in employment law when I began studying it at university and it is helpful to be gaining…

Volunteering at Legal Services Agency: Eilidh Denny

I first got involved with LSA at the beginning of June 2022 through a micro-placement with was advertised through my university, Edinburgh Napier University. I had a great experience working alongside Stuart Swan within the Employment Law Project and I was lucky enough to be offered the opportunity to come back as a volunteer if…

Volunteers’ Week 2023: Celebrate and Inspire

Legal Services Agency marks Volunteers’ Week 2023. 2023 marks the 39th year of Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June), when LSA will join thousands of charities and voluntary organisations recognising the contribution volunteers make across the UK. With this year’s theme of ‘Celebrate and Inspire’ we hope to encourage people to be the change that we want…

#RefugeeBanBill – Over 100 Scottish organisations urge the House of Lords to reject this harmful legislation

Press Release from JustRight Scotland and Scottish Refugee Council. Legal Services Agency is proud to support this important campaign. The inhumane and unworkable #RefugeeBanBill has today (10 May 2023) moved to Second Reading in the House of Lords, giving us another crucial opportunity to raise our voices in opposition to this harmful legislation, which seeks…

Employment Law Project – Reflections One Year On

We recently published LSA’s Employment Law Project Year in Numbers – Employment Law Project Year in Numbers – Legal Services Agency (lsa.org.uk). There are many stories behind the numbers and we have asked our employment law solicitor, Stuart Swan, to share his career story so far and reflections on the Employment Law Project. My first…

Employment Law Project Year in Numbers

We are proud to note that we have had a highly successful year with regards to our employment law project. This project was launched in April 2022 to promote employment rights and assist people facing problems at work. Please click here if you are looking for more information about the types of issues we can…

LSA successfully prevents eviction of family using reasonableness defence

On 10th February 2023, we succeeded in preventing the eviction of a family of five from their home in Glasgow. The evidentiary hearing before the First-Tier Tribunal for Scotland considered the reasonableness of an eviction order as sought by the landlord. The tenants had a Short Assured Tenancy over the property. The landlord served a…

Scotland Rejects the Refugee Ban Bill

Legal Services Agency is proud to have added our name to the joint statement in opposition to the new Illegal Migration Bill. JustRight Scotland and the Scottish Refugee’s Council’s joint statement on rejection of the UK Government’s Refugee Ban Bill below and further details can be seen here: Scotland rejects the Refugee Ban Bill (justrightscotland.org.uk)…

LSA welcomes Social Work Student on placement

My name is Lauren Christie, and I am a third year social work student currently on my first placement at Legal Services Agency! I study Social Work at Glasgow Caledonian University and will graduate in 2024. The main reason I chose to study social work was to try to improve the lives of people within…

Success for Scottish Climate Emergency Legal Network’s Seventh Gas Campaign

On 2 February 2023 the UK Government passed The Climate Change (Targeted Greenhouses Gases) Order 2023 in response to a campaign by the Scottish Climate Emergency Legal Network (SCELN) to amend the UK’s Climate Change Act 2008. SCELN, of which Legal Services Agency is a founding member, has successfully campaigned to address the discrepancies between…

LSA wins first planning appeal case

Legal Services Agency has successfully appealed a decision which granted planning permission for a luxury housing development on woodland at Portessie in Moray. In November 2021, Moray Council’s Local Review Body granted planning permission for a proposal to build seven houses on Slochy Woodlands near Buckie. Planning permission had been refused by the Council at…

Retirement of Elizabeth Stewart

On 1st February 2023, we sadly bid farewell to our office manager of over 18 years, Elizabeth Stewart. Elizabeth has worked at Legal Services Agency since 2004. As our office manager, Elizabeth has worked tirelessly to ensure a smooth running of our organisation, providing vital administrative support and management. Whilst she will be greatly missed,…

LSA Solicitors at Festival of Legal Possibilities

Two of our trainee solicitors, Kay Foulkes and Mera Logan, were delighted to take part in Edinburgh Law School’s ‘Festival of Legal Possibilities’ on Tuesday 21st February and Thursday 23rd February, respectively. This event was run by Diversity+ and the University of Edinburgh Law School. Kay attended the Tuesday session which covered diversity and representation…

‘Wind and watertight and fit for human habitation?’ The challenging landscape in dampness and disrepair cases

At our recent AGM we celebrated our developments highlighted in our annual report, but also considered the history and purpose of our organisation in an interesting panel discussion. The discussion was Chaired by Colin Porteous who was the first Chair of Legal Services Agency and among the founding members leading to its establishment. Led by…

My Traineeship Journey – 8 months to go

Eight Months to go until I am finished my Traineeship. I remember thinking that two years was a really long time, turns out it really is not. My first year of my traineeship was a whirlwind of emotions, new faces, incomprehensible information, and imposter syndrome. I’d like to say that that last part has eased…

LSA Annual Report 2021/22 OUT NOW

We are excited to share our Annual Report highlighting developments over the year last year. To view our Annual Report in pdf, please click here LSA Annual Report 2021 2022 or watch our video below.

Damaging Delay to Gender Recognition Reform in Scotland

Approximately 1% of the population are either trans[1] women, trans men or non-binary. Trans people don’t identify as the gender they were assigned at birth. Being transgender is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act (“gender reassignment”) – it is unlawful to discriminate against someone because they’re trans. Broadly, subject to certain exceptions, public bodies,…

2022 End of Year Highlights

2022 was undoubtedly another busy and successful year for Legal Services Agency. We are very proud of all of the work we have achieved and could not have done this without the dedicated work of our staff, volunteers and board members. We are looking forward to 2023 as we strive to uphold rights and address…

Human Rights Day 2022

10th December was Human Rights Day, a day to commemorate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). This document sets out fundamental human rights which are to be universally protected. Although not binding, more than 60 human rights documents have developed based on the UDHR. Human Rights Day 2022 marks the beginning of a yearlong…

Success for Kenneth Young in Statutory Consent Case

Terra Firma’s Kenneth Young, instructed by Rona Macleod at the Legal Services Agency, successfully argued in the Sheriff Court that statutory consent given to a trustee in sequestration to sell the family home is capable of being withdrawn.   The case of The Accountant in Bankruptcy v Watson and Watson called for legal submissions at Glasgow Sheriff Court in November.…

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Tomorrow, 3rd of December, marks International Day of Persons with Disabilities. This is an annual observance by the United Nations to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and wellbeing of people with disabilities. The theme for this year is “Transformative solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in…

Aileen Miller promoted to partner at Legal Services Agency

Aileen Miller was promoted to partner in the Mental Health and Adults with Incapacity Department on 1st October 2022. After qualifying as a solicitor in August 2010, Aileen began working with well-known Glasgow law firms specialising in Immigration Law before developing an interest in Mental Health and Incapacity Law in 2017. She joined LSA in September…

LSA Finds that the New Cost of Living Bill does not go far enough

In October 2022, the Scottish Parliament passed the Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) (Scotland) Bill (we understand that the Bill has not yet received royal assent). This Bill aims to introduce new measures to protect tenants in the rented sector during the current cost of living crisis and includes a reform of the law on…

Community activism and the story of Scottish law centres – Article by Mike Dailly, Govan Law Centre

SCOTLAND’s law centre history is a remarkable story. And it’s a Glasgow story. I met Paul Brown, Principal Solicitor at Legal Services Agency (LSA) at Sartis – an old favourite for many a Glaswegian. Paul retired from LSA on Friday after putting in a 42-year shift as a law centre solicitor. I wanted to capture…

Legal Services Agency Reports Findings Following Survey Assessing Disabled Peoples’ Access to Justice

Legal Services Agency’s research shows an urgent need for reform within the legal sector to improve conditions for those with disabilities and neurodiversity. Just over half of respondents to a poll carried out by Disability Scotland at the request of LSA said they had faced challenges accessing legal services or the legal justice system. Overwhelmingly,…

Paul Brown, Principal Solicitor of Legal Services Agency, to retire at the end of September 2022

September sees the retiral of Paul Brown, Principal Solicitor at Legal Services Agency (LSA).  Paul will be familiar to many in the legal field and has been a key figure in the law centre movement for over forty years. Paul started work in what was then the sole law centre in Scotland at the end…

What LSA look for in a Trainee and how the firm supports Trainee Development

It has been 9 months since I started as a Trainee at LSA. Since the outset, I have been working with the Housing and General Court Department. The tasks assigned to me are centered around defending evictions and mortgage repossessions and the prevention of homelessness. In reflecting on my time since I joined, I can…

Legal Services Agency makes plea to end harsh Criminal Injuries Compensations Rule

The government has announced that it is carrying out a consultation on proposed changes to the 2012 Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. This is following the High Court’s finding that the government has not met a legitimate expectation to consult on the reform of the “unspent convictions rule”. This exclusion was introduced in 2012 which makes…

PRESS RELEASE: Legal Services Agency to provide support to people detained in HMP Greenock and Low Moss

Legal Services Agency is proud to launch our new project, Disrupting Cycles of Disadvantage: Early Intervention in Homelessness. This project is funded by St Martin-in-the-Fields Charity (Frontline Fund) for three years. Around 40,000 people become homeless in Scotland each year, and those who encounter the criminal justice system are more likely to experience homelessness. Finding…

A day in the life of a Trainee at LSA

In 3 months’ time, I will be a second-year trainee. Sometimes, I need to stop and process that because it seems like only yesterday that I was applying for an ‘access to law course’. It’s safe to say that my experience as a Trainee has progressed vastly since my first article at the start of…

Launch of LSA’s Employment Law Project

Legal Services Agency are pleased to invite you to the virtual launch of our new Employment Law Project. The main aim of the project is to protect employment rights to improve financial circumstances. We will do this by: Providing early legal advice; Supporting fellow grassroots advice agencies; and Bringing together stakeholder expertise to act strategically…

Launch of LSA’s Disability and Social Justice Project

Legal Services Agency is pleased to invite you to join us for the virtual launch of our new Disability and Social Justice Project. The project has been designed to support and empower people living anywhere in Scotland to enforce their rights, challenge injustice and reduce discrimination. The project will involve the provision of specialist legal…

LSA’s Disability and Social Justice Project: Early Reflections

The last quarter of 2021 saw the Legal Services Agency launch a new project concerned with improving access to justice for disabled people in Scotland. Through developing a new specialist disability practice we will help disabled people in Scotland enforce their rights, challenge injustice, and reduce the day-to-day discrimination that they face While the project…

1 month into my Traineeship

Starting was overwhelming. Coming from a High Street Firm into a Charity like LSA was a change. Your normal first day jitters were to be expected, then top that off with Covid 19 social distancing and masks. I kept thinking ‘how am I meant to smile at people when I have this mask on?’. Trivial…

LSA Report on Temporary Accommodation Charges

A new report, “Charges for temporary homeless accommodation in Scotland – law and reality” has been published by the Legal Services Agency which examines the practice of charging for temporary homeless accommodation in Scotland, and whether local authorities are acting lawfully in this area. Background Individuals in Scotland who make a homelessness application to their…

LSA Annual Report 2020/21 OUT NOW

We are excited to share our Annual Report highlighting developments over the year last year. To view our Annual Report in pdf, please click here LSA Annual Report 2021 or watch our video below.

Major Conference: USING THE LAW TO TACKLE THE CLIMATE EMERGENCY

The Scottish Climate Emergency Legal Network is holding a major conference in Glasgow during the run-up to COP26. The event is to take place on the 21st of October, 10 days before the start of Glasgow’s historic summit, and will be accessible both online and in person at the Renfield Centre on Bath Street. Registration…

POWER OF ATTORNEY DAY

Having Power of Attorney in place gives YOU the autonomy to make a conscious decision to allow someone you know and trust to make decisions regarding your welfare, if or when you lose the ability to do so yourself. It means that YOU know the person understands YOUR needs, YOUR wants and will always act…

PRESS RELEASE – Glasgow Social Justice Lawyers welcome announcement of legal aid for asylum seekers in Scotland facing eviction by the Home Office

A group of social justice lawyers based in Glasgow have successfully secured an important gain for asylum seekers in Scotland – the right to access legal aid for representation in tribunal appeals, where they face eviction from housing that is provided by the Home Office. The Glasgow Social Justice Lawyers came together in summer 2018…

HOUSING LAW AND CORONAVIRUS: WHERE ARE WE NOW?

The Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 made various changes to the law which impacted upon housing law. A year and a bit after this legislation was enacted we are taking stock of where we are now, and what might change in the coming months. EVICTION BAN As previously blogged, a ban on eviction orders being enforced…

Time Bar for Same Roof Rules Cases Approaching in Criminal Injuries Compensation Cases

On 13th June 2019, the rules for Criminal Injuries Compensation Schemes were amended to remove what had previously been referred to as the ‘Same Roof Rule.’ The ‘Same Roof Rule’ had prevented victims who had been living with their assailant as members of the same family at the time of the assault prior to 1979 from…

The eviction ban in Scotland: What is it and what does it mean for tenants?

Since December 2020 there have been limitations on evictions in Scotland, often termed an eviction ban. However, the position is more complicated than a straightforward ban on evictions. The eviction ban came into effect on 11 December 2020, as a result of the Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Protection from Eviction) (Scotland) Regulations 2020. These Regulations prevented…

LSA Welcomes new Trustees

Legal Services Agency (LSA) is delighted to welcome four new Trustees: Grant Carson, Kirstie Cusick, Mhairi Reid and Peter Beckett. The Trustees join LSA at an exciting time to support us in delivering our three-year strategic plan launched in Spring 2020. Coming from the public, private and third sectors, the new Trustees bring invaluable skills,…

Happy Human Rights Day everyone!

It has been 72 years since the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The UDHR is a milestone document that proclaims the inalienable rights which everyone is entitled to as a human being – regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin,…

Power of Attorney and COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on all facets of society. During these challenging times, the legal sector has had to adapt and revise the ways in which it delivers services. The extent of these adjustments – many stemming from the new Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 – vary across different practice areas. In…

Glasgow’s free advice sector stands united

Glasgow’s free advice sector stands united #SaveYourAdviceSector THIS Thursday, Glasgow City Council will vote to cut over £2m each year from its funding to Glasgow`s community law centres, citizen advice bureaux (CABx), local money advice and other advice agencies.  That`s a 60% cut across the board.  £5m removed from Glasgow`s free advice sector over the…

Briefing on reform of the law on damages for unlawful eviction

Unlawful evictions damages law reform briefing – 11 August 2020 Shaun McPhee, Ben Christman, Marianne Wilson, Caitlin Perring and Alice Dalkin Legal Services Agency  

Changes to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012

Changes to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012 By Hannah Goldsmith The Criminal Injuries Compensation scheme is a government scheme in place to help victims of crimes of violence receive compensation for injuries they have suffered.  The current Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme is the 2012 Scheme (2012 Scheme), which, as its name suggests, came into…

Report on Valuation of Compensation Awards Arising from Letting Agent Enforcement Orders

Report on Valuation of Compensation Awards Arising from Letting Agent Enforcement Orders by Alice Dalkin, Caitlin Perring and Marianne Wilson Legal Services Agency June 2020 Alice, Caitlin and Marianne are volunteers with the Legal Services Agency in their Housing and General Court Department. They are also recent graduates from the University of Glasgow School of Law.  …

Coronavirus: Tenants’ Rights in the Private Sector

The Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 has increased protection for private tenants. This leaflet summarises the changes to the eviction procedure for both Assured/Short Assured Tenancies and Private Residential Tenancies. Coronavirus Tenancy Poster V2 Legal Services Agency has dedicated lawyers specialising in private tenancies. Please contact 0141 353 3354 to arrange a telephone appointment or email us…

Vulnerable Adults and Coronavirus in Scotland

The Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 received Royal Assent on 6th April 2020 having been passed by the Scottish Parliament on 1st April 2020. The provisions came into force on 7th April 2020 with some exceptions noted below.  This legislation has received significant attention in the Scottish media with particular attention paid to the proposed changes to practice within…

Mental Health and the COVID-19 Crisis

The current Covid-19 Pandemic has brought about numerous concerns for all of us who work in the legal profession but none more so than how this will impact upon the rights of us as individuals.  At Legal Services Agency we provide specialist advice to those with mental ill health, their family and carers.  Many of those we…

COVID-19 and Housing

The Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 is now law.  It brings major changes to housing law and practice, which will impact a large number of tenants for the foreseeable future.  The emergency provisions are initially effective until 30 September 2020 but may be extended by the Scottish Ministers up to a further year.  These changes could well be with…

UK Supreme Court Refuses to Consider Ali v Serco and Others

For around eighteen months Legal Services Agency have been challenging lock change evictions in Glasgow Sheriff Court. We raised one of the first actions challenging these evictions and have raised around 77 interdict actions since then. These cases were put on hold waiting for a decision to be made in the case of Ali v…

Climate, Corona and Civil Liberties

A Discussion of Political Protests after the Coronavirus Act 2020 We are in exceptional times. There are two major threats, neither of them will be news. Firstly, to the long term survival of the whole of humanity and the natural world, i.e. the climate emergency. Secondly, to the survival of a significant proportion of humanity:…

A guide to lockdown law in Scotland

A guide to lockdown law in Scotland Ben Christman, trainee solicitor (benchristman@lsa.org.uk) 8 April 2020 1. Introduction If you are living in Scotland at present, you will probably know that the Scottish Government has imposed a ‘lockdown’ to halt the spread of COVID-19. Similar lockdowns are in place in England, Wales and Northern Ireland –…

Homelessness law in Scotland and COVID-19

Homelessness law in Scotland and COVID-19 Ben Christman, trainee solicitor (benchristman@lsa.org.uk) 6 April 2020 Introduction There is no good time to be homeless, but it is difficult to imagine that there could be a more difficult period to be without a home than during a global pandemic crisis and national lockdown. Homeless rights organisations have…

Service update

The scale and pace of changes resulting from Covid-19 pandemic is causing heightened levels of uncertainty for us all! New guidance and amended rules are being issued daily. Interpretations of these for businesses and the impact for people and everyday lives are complex. We remain committed to providing access to justice, advice and representation in…

Important Service Update: COVID-19 Pandemic

IMPORTANT SERVICE UPDATE From Tuesday 17 March 2020 we are making adaptations to our service delivery in light of continued concerns about the Covid-19 pandemic. The safety and health of all our staff, clients and other visitors we have taken the difficult decision to move face-to-face delivery to telephone advice. We would be grateful if…

Urgenda: the urgent agenda

Scots lawyers should consider what may follow from the Dutch Supreme Court ruling, requiring Government action to avert the threats from climate change on human rights grounds. LSA`s Paul Brown discusses the Dutch Supreme Court ruling and using the law to tackle the climate emergency. Read the full article in the Journal here