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16 Jun 2011

Owen Bowcott, Guardian [UK]

Legal aid cuts will stop cases like Trafigura, UN official warns [UK]

A senior UN official has warned the government that cuts to legal aid and changes to lawyers' fees will prevent claims, such as those in the Trafigura case, being brought against multinational businesses…John Ruggie…UN…special representative for business and human rights, wrote to the UK justice minister Jonathan Djanogly saying he was concerned about the "disincentives" being introduced...It will be a "real disincentive to what is already a very small pool of lawyers willing to take on human rights-related cases against multinational enterprises"…Martyn Day, a senior partner at the law firm Leigh Day & Co, which brought the [Trafigura] case, welcomed Ruggie's letter. "We acted for 30,000 impoverished Ivorians – the no win, no fee scheme was the only way we could bring the case," he said.