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SEN lawyers anyone?

(16 Posts)
gollyb Tue 16-Nov-10 18:13:35

We are at the proposed statement stage for my dc. We are alsmost certain that we would have to go to tribunal . Could anyone please comment on Douglas Silas or Maxwell Gillott: two law firms we saw on the internet (or any other for that matter).Any comments most welcome. cheers.

HeadlessLegless Wed 17-Nov-10 01:21:56

Definitey Eleanor Wright from Maxwell Gillott.

She won our case for us. I have also recommened her to at least 20 other parents who have not lost with her either.

Send me a PM and I can send you a link to the website we are all on.

Eleanor Wright is fantastic!

english1 Fri 19-Nov-10 18:37:07

Wow, called these firm - the fees are enormous - over 6K as i dont get legal aid.

silverfrog Fri 19-Nov-10 18:42:37

we used Chris Barnett at Levenes.

he was excellent - efficient and thoroughly knowledgable.

do you know anyone else who has successfully gained a statement for the needs that your dc has? it would be wise to go with someone who has had success in the area that you are fighting for, iyswim?

I was recommended Chris Barnett by my dd's consultant - he has worked with him at tribunal before.

FWIW, my LEA settled before Tribunal - I can only assume that the way our case was presented had an effect, as we were fighting for sometign that no LEA wants to fund (full time ABA school; dd1 is severely ASD), so our case must have made them think the position was un-winnable.

Expensive, but worth it if at all possible.

gollyb Fri 19-Nov-10 19:14:46

Thanks a lot everyone for your useful comments. All lawyers seem equally expensive (thousands of pounds!). We are taking a bit of time to seriously think about this as we will have to use probably all our saving that we have set aside for amortgage .

English1, I spoke to SOSSEN, they are very helpful and would even represent you at a tribunal - maybe its worth having a chat with them as well.

Silverfrog, We dont know of anyone in particular. But, by the looks of it we will have to challenge a lot of the componenets in the statment. Everything is very woolly and non-specific. It's very frustrating.

jiggles01 Sat 20-Nov-10 10:04:54

Hi gollyb.
we used Douglas silas and they were fantastic.
As you may have seen, his website is a mass of information.He also worked at Levenes early in his career.
We won without going to tribunal as our LEA also gave in. Our provision is a lot of money -residential ss- so we knew we would not be able to do it on our own .
Yes ,it costs thousands .Yes ,we would do it again -best (!?)money we ever spent

gettingonwithit Sat 20-Nov-10 16:00:28

We used a firm which isn't mentioned here, but is one of those listed in the Chambers directory for education. I was happy with them, but I think all of those in Band 1 and 2 are going to be highly experienced and helpful.

I got a few quotes when I was shopping around and £6k isn't unusual. Costs can get higher if you have to go to tribunal again to get a fully quantified statement and special school placement.

I agree with jiggles though that we would do it all again if we had to (and might have to at a transition phase!).

Agnesdipesto Wed 08-Dec-10 23:44:01

Have you thought about using a legal advocate rather than a qualified lawyer - we used one from here and won our tribunal and very happy. We also did most of paperwork ourselves and just got advocate to draft the appeal grounds and represent us on the day which worked out much cheaper

figcake Fri 11-Feb-11 21:21:07

Aplogies for opening a dormant thread, but has the legal aid funding for SEN lawyers been altered yet? Does anyone know the thresholds? Asking on behalf of my neighbour who is in a really tricky position atm

WetAugust Sat 12-Feb-11 14:32:18

I never thought there was funding for SEN lawyers even if you qualified for legal aid. I was told by my solicitor that parents were expected to foot the bill when they employed lawyers for SEN issues.

JJ17 Wed 16-Feb-11 17:36:08

I used Maxwell Gillott and they were amazing - really big guns and the LEA folded before we got to a hearing.

Agnesdipesto Wed 16-Feb-11 22:52:31

The legal aid consultation has closed but no decision yet. You can only get legal aid for the preparation not for representation at tribunal. SOSSEN will refer you to solicitors if you can get legal aid i think. I'd apply quick before they stop the funding

cornslik Wed 16-Feb-11 22:53:57

this is an excellent thread - on my watch list!

mrsblossom Fri 14-Dec-12 20:39:07

Another vote for Chris Barnett at Levenes.
LA settled before tribunal.

GreatMindsTuition Mon 17-Dec-12 10:52:49

I have worked with Pinky Baria at Levenes at would recommend her too.

perceptionInaPearTree Mon 17-Dec-12 21:26:08

We used David Ruebain, who is now retired (Levenes) and won ABA programme. If I have to go to tribunal again I would try to get Chris Barnett, also at Levenes - he has learned a lot from David Ruebain and seems very good to me.

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