13 September 2022

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 of the 70s. Since that time, he has worked with a number of other law centres, including, since 1989, LSA, of which he was a key founder.

Paul has had close involvement in the development of housing law, including defended eviction, defended mortgage repossession, homelessness, and dampness and disrepair. He has had specialist involvement in criminal injuries compensation applications, particularly for those with serious injuries including PTSD. Almost all of the remedies developed in these fields were novel. Paul has been curator ad litem for children’s work at Glasgow Sheriff Court, as well as Financial Guardian for many clients and set up trusts for the victims of personal injury. He has written and lectured extensively.

Paul has had particular interest in supporting the law centre movement, having worked at both Castlemilk and The Scottish Child Law Centres, as well as supporting, for example, Shelter Scottish Housing Law Service in its early years. He was one of those who developed mental health detention work, asylum representation, and Glasgow Sheriff Court Advice Desk. The net result of the latter is that LSA lawyers have appeared at virtually every eviction court there for over 30 years.

He had key involvement in LSA’s development of its community legal education program. That has meant one or two seminars every week for well over 30 years and production and distribution of tens of thousands of legal information booklets.

Paul stated that:

“I’m proud to have been part of a team that has and continues to tackle the unmet legal needs of people in disadvantage throughout Scotland. Since the beginning of the law centre movement, the depth of commitment and expertise has soared and I am very proud to have worked with so many dedicated and capable individuals, whether lawyers (including my partners), administrative staff, volunteers, managers, or board members.

“Whilst practice in the voluntary sector certainly has its challenges, I have been privileged to have been able to spend my career in the way that I have and would like to express my gratitude and appreciation for the support of so many over so many years.

“There is no doubt that the movement is now stronger than it ever has been, and I wish all centres in general and LSA, in particular, the best for the future. The work continues because the need is still there and I’m sure the movement in general and LSA in particular will flourish. I commend law centres to potential clients and funders as well as, of course to lawyers and others who will work there in the future.”

Barrie Levine, current chair of LSA stated:

“Paul has been a central figure in the law centre field in Scotland.  His drive and energy have been fundamental to the development of LSA since its inception and through this, helped to change the legal landscape in Scotland.  Through his work and that of everyone involved in LSA, the organisation has gone from strength to strength.  Paul has been responsible for numerous significant initiatives in the legal field and contributed directly to the development of areas of law including, housing, homelessness, mental health, and criminal injuries compensation to name a few.

“Paul leaves LSA at a time when the challenges facing society and people in disadvantage are growing and the need for legal representation amongst vulnerable groups is growing apace.  Whilst Paul will be missed, LSA is in a strong position to continue its work and I am confident that the skilled and committed staff of LSA will continue to deliver a high-quality service and continue to be at the forefront of challenging inequality and promoting human rights for many years to come.

“The Board of LSA would like to take this opportunity to thank Paul sincerely for his contribution over the years and wish him well for his retirement.”