Trinity Business & Property Barristers Support Litigant in Person Scheme
Barristers from Trinity's Business and Property group, together with members from other sets in the region, have worked collaboratively and will be giving up their time to contribute to the Newcastle Chancery Litigant in Person Support Scheme (“NCLIPS”).
Given the significant financial implications of the Coronavirus pandemic, as well as pressures on the region's court staff, the Trinity barristers were keen to assist where they could. The CLIPS Scheme is designed to help unrepresented litigants in the District Judges’ Business and Property List who cannot afford to pay for legal representation by providing access to volunteer barristers.
CLIPS has been set up with the input of the local Judiciary and in conjunction with Support Through Court, (previously the Personal Support Unit), an organisation that Trinity has assisted for many years.
The volunteer barristers will help litigants in person as far as possible on the day of the hearing, including, if they are able to, providing some immediate advice and be ready, if the litigant in person wishes, to speak for them at court. In view of the COVID-19 restrictions this support is initially going to be provided online via email and by phone on a rota basis. However, longer term, once the courts reopen it is envisaged that on the day of the hearing, litigants in person wishing to access this help will speak to the District Judges' usher who will then make an introduction to the volunteer barrister attending at court.
As the volunteer barrister can only provide support on the day of the hearing, for more complex and involved matters, litigants in person are encouraged to contact the Bar’s pro bono charity, Advocate.
Leader of Trinity's Business and Property group and sitting Recorder, Simon Goldberg headed up the initiative in the North East, rallying the local Bar, encouraging volunteers to get involved and collaborating with the Judiciary. Simon said of the project:
"I am very proud that so many of our local specialist barristers have stepped up to help to keep the justice system moving. This scheme will ease the burden on the Court as a result of business and property barristers providing their expertise free of charge to those who are most in need during these difficult and unprecedented times."