Highbury chief faces review

LONDON firm Sonn & Co has been granted leave to seek a second judicial review against the chief clerk at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court.

The firm argues that clerk Alan Gooch was wrong to turn down legal aid to one of its clients who the partners say was in danger of being put in custody.

Leave was refused by Mr Justice Brooke who said Sonn & Co did not have a legitimate interest in the case which should be brought by the client.

But the application for leave was accepted the second time around before Lord Justice McGowan and Mr Justice Dyson.

The case may be heard alongside a previous application which Sonn & Co brought last summer.

Partner David Sonn says a claim for legal aid, submitted on the day of the hearing, was turned down by the clerk because documentary evidence was not received until two weeks after the case was completed.

An adjournment for documentary evidence would have caused a huge waste of public funds because an interpreter was appearing in the case, says Sonn.

He adds that the same principle keeps cropping up and the policy of the court has been inconsistent when cases are complete.

Gooch declines to comment until judgment is given.