Miles & Partners praised for their pro bono work
Miles & Partners have been praised for their willingness to provide pro bono support to a mother facing imprisonment who was ineligible for public funding. Proceedings had been issued by the Solicitor General following the mother’s failure to deliver up the children into the care of their father in October 2012. On the day in question, two of the children had run away from the family home. The ensuing police chase and time spent collecting the children from the police station rendered it impossible for the mother to comply with the order by the specified time.
Dismissing the Solicitor General’s application for Jennifer Marie Jones to be committed to prison, Sir James Munby voiced his concerns over the inequality of arms, stating ‘there is I am told, no other basis upon which public funding can be made available in a case such as this. If this is really so, it might be thought that something needs to be done…It is disconcerting that something so fundamental – the right to a proper defence when a great officer of state seeks to have you imprisoned – should be dependent upon the willingness of the bar and its instructing solicitor to act without fee.’ Whilst Ms Jones’ income fell within the limits for legal aid, her interest in two Spanish properties rendered her ineligible on capital grounds. This was despite the interest being unrealisable within the very short time frame of proceedings.
Amanda Dench, partner and head of Miles & Partner’s abduction team, assisted by Katherine Couper, had conduct of the case on behalf of Ms Jones. Sir James Munby also praised Counsel appearing on behalf of Ms Jones, Mr Christopher Hames, of 4 Paper Buildings, who has represented Ms Jones throughout her underlying Hague proceedings, also on a pro bono basis.
For further information or to speak to Amanda Dench please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 020 7426 0400.
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