Thorley Stephenson to wind up
After 18 years in practice together Mark Thorley and Jim Stephenson have decided to begin the process of closing down their well respected firm of Thorley Stephenson.
Both Mark and Jim have practised in their respective areas of legal aid for over 30 years, representing many clients who simply could not have afforded representation without the benefit of legal aid.
As a result of the amount of related work undertaken, Thorley Stephenson has regularly featured among the top 10 providers in accordance with the Scottish Legal Aid Board’s annual reports.
However, the long serving solicitors have now decided to call it a day. Mark said: “Unfortunately and regrettably it is difficult to see a future for legal aid.
“This is not ground-breaking news, having been on the horizon for many years - and it is not just about the rates of pay.
“For years there have been discussions about the simplification of legal aid but underlying all this is that firms like Thorley Stephenson simply cannot afford to pay staff what they can achieve in the private sector.
“The gap has been ever widening with few young solicitors wishing to undertake legal aid work and those who need help supported by legal aid finding it ever more difficult to instruct a lawyer. The situation appears now to have reached the point of no return and the most vulnerable in society being deprived of access to justice.”
He added: “Both Jim and I are glad to have contributed in some small way to representing those in need over the course of many years. It has never been easy but it has always been worthwhile. We sincerely hope solutions can be found that make undertaking legal aid work an attractive proposition for future generations and ensure this vital service continues.
“As for ourselves, we are moving on to an exciting new adventure.”