It is hugely misleading to claim the CBE cases (The Lawyer, 19 April) would not have succeeded if it were not for legal aid when five of the eight lead cases were funded by the union Nacods. Anyone who thinks Nacods would not have proceeded with the case is almost certainly wrong.
The truth is that every major advance in work place health and safety litigation has been funded by or had substantial funding from the trade union movement, which runs 150,000 cases a year at no public cost.
You also do not mention legal aid will stay in personal injury cases to cover investigation, to cover high cost cases and public interest cases.
Your article highlights exceptional cases – ones that could easily be considered high cost or of public interest.
You also fail to acknowledge the thousands of other cases pursued at public expense with lawyers being paid whether they win, lose or draw.
Lawyers will no doubt take offence at the analogy, but you would not pay a taxi that took you to the wrong place.
If reasonable and necessary costs can be recovered the rewards for taking on high risk cases are great. The firms who took on the featured cases are all specialists well placed to take risks and I have no doubt they will, legal aid or no.
Tom Jones, Thompsons Solicitors