Authorized support agency Duncan Lewis says it’s getting ‘threatening messages’ after hostile protection
One of many nation’s largest authorized support companies has warned that its legal professionals are receiving threatening messages after being monstered by politicians and the press for representing asylum seekers.
Duncan Lewis Solicitors says that its legal professionals “obtain abhorrent and threatening messages on-line day by day for merely attempting to do their job”.
In an announcement hitting again at latest criticism within the right-wing press, the agency additionally says that criticism of its authorized support earnings are “deceptive” and “fuels the anti-lawyer narrative”.
Legal professionals working with folks attempting to assert asylum within the UK are more and more involved about their private security. The political controversy over asylum seekers crossing the English Channel in small boats has led Residence Secretary Priti Patel to lash out at “lefty lawyers” who take authorized motion to cease folks being kicked again out once more with out correct consideration of their declare.
The final criticism by politicians has been echoed by assaults on particular legislation companies within the press. One small outfit was attacked within the Solar for “shamelessly touting” its charges for combating deportation instances — regardless of the Regulation Society requiring immigration solicitors to publish their charges beneath price transparency rules.
An article in final week’s Mail on Sunday took Duncan Lewis to job for incomes £55 million in authorized support over three years. Of that, a median of £15 million a 12 months was for civil instances like immigration. The paper described the sum as a “staggering bonanza“.
However Duncan Lewis factors out that it’s the largest civil authorized support supplier within the nation. In a statement launched final night time, the agency mentioned that it handles 20,000 instances a 12 months, together with 7,500 on immigration and asylum.
It added: “The charges that we obtain are predominantly instances which can be paid by the use of a hard and fast payment on a remuneration price that’s set by the federal government which, regardless of inflation and rising operational prices, has not been elevated in real-terms in over 20 years”.
The Mail on Sunday doesn’t point out the way it obtained the numbers within the first place, however on the exact same day the Sunday Occasions reported figures on authorized support for immigration companies supplied by “Patel’s workforce”. The Residence Secretary then gave her “lefty legal professionals” speech that afternoon.
Duncan Lewis additionally accuses the federal government and the press of “rhetoric which creates hatred” of immigration legal professionals. Its assertion says:
“We are actually seeing our legal professionals expertise abusive behaviour and obtain abhorrent and threatening messages on-line day by day for merely attempting to do their job and be a voice for essentially the most susceptible: victims of torture, victims of trafficking and unaccompanied asylum-seeking youngsters. This has to cease.”
Earlier this week, a human rights barrister told the Guardian “I’m anxious for my security, I’ve not been earlier than; different legal professionals have informed me they’re anxious too”.
Because the Guardian studies at present, security is a priority for legal professionals working with asylum seekers. I spoke to 1 agency just lately who mentioned they’d briefed their reception workers on enhanced safety after getting a threatening electronic mail. https://t.co/SJSkB0Old5
— CJ McKinney (@mckinneytweets) October 6, 2020
Regulation Society President Simon Davis has warned that “slinging insults at legal professionals undermines the rule of legislation in an space the place views are already hotly held on all sides and dangers resulting in verbal abuse and to legal professionals being bodily attacked for doing their job”.