Lawyers acting pro bono in a complex family law case countered the stereotyped image of ‘fat cats’, a High Court judge has said in praising their “commitment to the delivery of justice”.
Mr Justice Williams made the comments in upholding, in part, a father’s appeal against the restrictions put on contact with his son.
The father was represented by Nasstassia Hylton of 1 Garden Court and the mother by Richard Egleton of Pallant Chambers, both of whom acted pro bono on a direct access basis.
The judge said: “That counsel for the father and for the mother should appear pro bono in such a complex case as this is in the finest traditions of the legal profession.
“Up and down the country, counsel, solicitors and legal executives fill the gaping holes in the fabric of legal aid in private law cases because of their commitment to the delivery of justice.
“Without such public-spirited lawyers how would those such as the father and mother in this case navigate the process and present their cases?
“How judges manage to deliver justice to the parties and an appropriate judgment for the child without such assistance in cases like this begs the question. It is a blight on the current legal aid system that cases such as this do not attract public funding.
“So far removed from the stereotyped ‘fat cat’, the legal profession in cases such as this are more akin to Boxer in George Orwell’s Animal Farm, always telling themselves ‘I will work harder’.”