HC Deb 08 February 1955 vol 536 cc200-1W
Captain Kerby

asked the Attorney-General whether he is aware that, when a legally-assisted person gains a favourable verdict in the High Court and damages are awarded, he may not, in some cases, receive any compensation at all for his losses or sufferings because the whole of the amount of the award is seized to pay the costs of his suit; and what steps he proposes taking in this connection.

The Attorney-General

The circumstances postulated in the Question occur only when the damages awarded and recovered are too small to meet the Law Society's charge under section 3 (4) of the Legal Aid and Advice Act, 1949, under which the costs which the Legal Aid Fund has incurred on behalf of the assisted person, over and above any contribution paid by him or costs recovered from opposite parties, are met from the damages. I would not regard the repeal of this provision as desirable for that would put assisted litigants in a more favourable position than ordinary litigants, who when deciding whether to take proceedings have to balance the possible cost of litigation against the amount of damages that may be recovered.