Grosskurth switches to LAB

A LEADING legal pressure group has lost one of its key staff members to the Legal Aid Board.

In an unusual move Anne Grosskurth, policy officer at the Legal Action Group, joins the Legal Aid Board's policy department.

She will be working at a senior grade as policy adviser for the board under policy director Anne-Marie Roberts.

Grosskurth has been LAG's policy officer for seven years and has acted as a spokeswoman for the group on a wide range of issues.

She has also played a major role in determining LAG's position on legal aid issues – especially criminal and civil justice.

Her final appearance for LAG will take place at a one-day conference on Saturday when she will chair a discussion on mediation.

Her move from the leading legal aid pressure group to the body which is actually delivering the service will certainly raise eyebrows among legal aid practitioners.

Some will be upset, but others may see it as a sign of the board's willingness to listen to all shades of opinion.

Lag director Roger Smith would only say: “It's bad news for us, good news for the board.”

Grosskurth said the group had always striven to be a constructive critic of the Government and had never taken a “fiercely oppositional stance”.

She said her experience working for Lag would prove valuable. “Legal aid is on the verge of enormous change. To be involved at the centre implementing those changes will be very exciting,” she said.

The Lag conference Achieving Civil Justice will take place at City University in Northampton Square, London on Saturday 11 November.