As part of the latest round of Government funding cuts, it has been proposed that as many as 90 courts and tribunals across England and Wales could close.
It will see some under-used courtroom buildings being closed in a bid to save money. It is likely that magistrates’ courts, county courts – which deal with family and civil claims – and crown courts are all affected.
It has been suggested that the courtrooms targeted in the newest round of closures could include Consett Magistrates’ Court, Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court and County Court and Morpeth County Court.
It comes after 157 courtrooms were closed under the coalition Government, including courtrooms in Alnwick, Hexham, Gosforth, Blaydon, Houghton-le-Spring, Bishop Auckland and Guisborough.
What does this mean for you? The Government’s cost-saving plans sit alongside a bid to ensure that, where possible, fewer cases end up in court. Court proceedings are essential in many cases, but sometimes they are not needed, and are unnecessarily costly. Plus, they can be traumatic and emotionally challenging, especially in family law cases.
Meanwhile, people who live in certain small towns or rural communities may have to travel further if they are required to attend a court hearing.
At DMA, we believe these developments place an even greater importance on the lawyer-client relationship. It is more important than ever for people to choose their lawyer carefully, looking for a friendly law firm that understands their needs.
For example, it is vital that clients never feel like they are on their own – and forcing people to attend court in an unfamiliar town could increase that feeling.
Likewise, relying on a lawyer to mediate on your behalf in a case that is now less likely to go to court, increases the importance of a strong lawyer-client relationship.
We have always cherished our client relationships, and always aim to be approachable, friendly and empathetic. We represent you well because of our extensive experience, and because we understand what you are going through.