We are writing to you with an urgent call for information on a vital legal issue pertaining to Practice Direction 51Z.
Next Thursday, 30th April, the Court of Appeal is set to hear an appeal in the case of Arkin v Marshall, considering: (i) whether the 3-month stay of possession proceedings in PD 51Z is unlawful, (ii) whether the stay applies to the requirement to comply with case management directions in all cases and (iii) whether the stay should be lifted in individual cases.
HLPA intend to apply to intervene. The basis of the intervention would be that we can provide evidence of the borrower/tenant legal advice sector and the ability in a range of cases to comply with directions in the current circumstances.
This is therefore a call for evidence to submit to the Court of Appeal.
Time is of the essence and we need your responses by close of business Friday 24 April 2020.
Please indicate whether you are happy for your evidence to be attributed and/or your response to be exhibited to any witness statement.
- What percentage of your work is housing law which would be affected by PD51Z?
- What percentage of that is legally aided, charity funded or pro bono?
- What percentage and number of your housing team are furloughed currently?
- What working arrangements do you have for:
- Seeing clients face-to-face
- Seeing clients digitally (Zoom, Skype etc)
- Sending and receiving documents to and from clients and other parties
- Getting signatures on documents
- What percentage of your clients (if any) are able:
- safely to travel to receive advice face to face if you are presently able to provide this service.
- adequately to respond to you using the alternative arrangements you have in place (such as Zoom, email, Skype?).
If any of your clients are unable to do so then why is this?
- While understanding that clients’ skills and abilities vary, please provide details of any experience or observations as to your client group’s ability or otherwise, in the current circumstances, to:
- receive advice as to their obligations in law and the civil procedure rules (including but not limited to disclosure obligations and the implications of a statement of truth);
- collate and get to you documents such as those required for disclosure under CPR 31;
- provide adequate instructions (including on documents disclosed by other parties) in order to finalise witness statement evidence under CPR 32;
including any comments on your experience with any particular subsets of your clients and/or any particular difficulties you may have experienced.
- Please provide details of any experience and/or observations in relation to the practicalities, in the current circumstances, of:
- dealing with the Legal Aid Agency;
- instructing expert witnesses to .
- Please provide any other comments on your/your organisation’s and your clients’ ability to manage case management directions in possession actions of all kinds in the current situation.
Please respond to Chandra_Rao@shelter.org.uk