Wednesday, 17 May 2017

GLC Principal Solicitor interview in The Herald, 17 May 2017

Below is an extract of an interview with our Principal Solicitor, Mike Dailly, with The Herald's personal finance editor and business correspondent, Margaret Taylor, published on the 17 May 2017. A link to the full article is reproduced below.
IT IS somewhat fitting that the converted cells of Govan’s old Orkney Street Police Station are now home to Govan Law Centre, given that the man who runs it - principal solicitor Mike Dailly - takes no prisoners when it comes to fighting for justice.  When you consider the type of work he and his colleagues do - defending mortgage repossessions, fighting eviction cases, advising on money matters and welfare rights - you can understand why. With little or no voice of their own, Mr Dailly’s clients depend on him to fight their corner for them. “Our work is about enforcing people’s rights and enabling them to access those rights and access justice,” Mr Dailly said.(read the article on The Herald's online site here).


Thursday, 11 May 2017

Govan Law Centre to launch Glasgow Asylum Seekers Project

Dee Flanigan, Glasgow Asylum
Seekers Project solicitor
Govan Law Centre (GLC) is delighted to announce that with the support of The AB Charitable Trust we are now in a position to launch a Glasgow Asylum Seekers Project with a particular focus on housing, health and the living conditions of asylum seekers and their families and children in Glasgow.

There are approximately 10,000 refugee and asylum seekers in Glasgow. Asylum seekers have no right to work, cannot access the benefit system and rely on public services. Failed asylum seekers are exploited and are often living in very poor conditions. Many are destitute. 
Research by both the Glasgow Caledonian University and Scottish Refugee Council show 96% of refugees experience homelessness at some point after receiving their status. Many slip through the net and spend time ‘sofa-surfing’ and rough sleeping. The research also showed that half are unhappy with their living conditions. Lack of basic knowledge of services, rights and opportunities means clients do not know what to do to improve their situation.

GLC's Principal Solicitor, Mike Dailly said: "We are convinced there is much unmet legal need amongst asylum seekers and refugees in Glasgow. We will use the law to inform, enforce rights and opportunities, and ensure full access to public services to improve the lives of refugees and asylum seekers in Glasgow".  

GLC's Glasgow Asylum Seekers Project will work with a number of partner organisations, including the Asylum Seeker Housing project.  Our project will be headed up by Dee Flanigan, solicitor at Govan Law Centre. 

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Significant increase in Govan Law Centre's casework in the last financial year

Govan Law Centre's (GLC) Annual Monitoring Report to Glasgow City Council has revealed a significant increase in legal casework, and gains secured for clients across Glasgow's South and North East communities.  The Annual Monitoring Report is a requirement of the local authority's Integrated Grant Fund. GCC funding to GLC represents almost one quarter of the law centre's income.

GLC believes not only do we provide a service four times the size of that vital investment, but much greater added value when the quality and specialist nature of legal work is considered, together with the law centre's work in the fields of social policy and best practice, law reform, public interest litigation and test case work. Key statistics and highlights from our legal work in Glasgow during 2016/17 include:

⧫  A 20% increase in "type 3" cases (cases which involve sheriff court or tribunal representation) from 798 cases in the last financial year to almost 1,000 this year

⧫  1,353 new clients

⧫  Resolved or prevented homelessness for 600 clients in Glasgow, and issued 1,200 "section 11" prevention of homelessness contacts

⧫  Improved living conditions for 292 clients, and ensured better affordability in living costs for 138 clients

⧫  A 10% increase in the City-wide housing debt handled by GLC's solicitors and caseworkers from almost £5.5m in the last financial year to almost £6 million pounds this year

⧫  Secured direct financial gains for clients in the sum of £412,747

⧫  GLC gave evidence to the Scottish Parliament's Economy Committee and helped persuade the Scottish Government to withdraw the draft Bankruptcy Fees (Scotland) Order 2017, which would have seen some fees against homeowners increase by almost 200%.

⧫  In addition to working with the Scottish Bar in cases, we also provided an in-house Solicitor Advocate service for clients undertaking urgent petitions for judicial reviews in the Court of Session against HMRC, the Scottish Government and local authorities, together with actions for suspension and interdict. We also undertook in-house appeals to the Inner House of the Court of Session in relation to issues concerning fair rents, and housing grants.

⧫  We established a pilot Women's Rights legal service in partnership with Tea in the Pot

⧫  We established and funded a Scottish Personal Insolvency Law Unit

⧫  We launched a City-wide dedicated Private Rented Tenants' Project for Glasgow with almost half a million pounds in funding from the Big Lottery Fund's Investing in Communities Programme


Friday, 21 April 2017

Govan Law Centre and Mike Dailly provide financial support to Govan's Tea in the Pot

Mike Dailly, Anne Keegan, Tommy McMahon,
Chris Stephens MP, Lorna Walker, and Alistair Sharp.
An essential local service for women and children in Glasgow was faced with possible closure in July this year when their funding for rent, heating and lights was due to run out.

The service - Tea in the Pot - now has more time to identify long term funding thanks to donations today of £3,000 from Glasgow's Govan Law Centre (GLC), and a personal donation of £1,000 from GLC's Principal Solicitor, Mike Dailly. 

Tea in the Pot is a Drop-in & Support Service for women, and is run by women, for women. The service provides a safe relaxing atmosphere where women can meet up with old friends and make new friends.

Tea in the Pot supports women to become actively engaged in their community; enables women to identify and value their skills, experiences and talents - and to feel empowered and confident to share these with others.  It helps those coping with difficulties, under stress, or with health issues, or simply women who feel isolated with no one to talk to.

Since 21 November last year, Govan Law Centre's senior solicitor Lorna Walker has been providing a free drop-in legal surgery at Tea in the Pot on a Monday morning from 10:30am till approx. Women have been able to speak to a female solicitor in confidence, on issues affecting them, including Welfare Rights, Housing, Insolvency Issues, Community Care, Personal Injury, Criminal Injuries, Employment Law. 

GLC aims to work with Tea in the Pot, to develop our partnership services, and help secure long term funding for their essential services in the local community.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

GLC response to Trump International's statement on the judgment in Beyts v. TIGCS Ltd

TIGCS statement in quotes "We are satisfied that justice has prevailed. The disingenuous claim by Rohan Beyts was a perversion of the truth and nothing more than a poor attempt at self-publicity in an effort to garner support for her anti-Trump, anti-business propaganda. It's a disgrace that valuable time and money has been wasted defending a genuine north east business and its honest, hard-working personnel from this nonsense".

GLC comment: The defender lost on ALL of the facts in this case. Sheriff Corke found that the criminal charge against Rohan Beyts was frivolous. He ruled that she was entitled to hold her environmentalist and political views and opposition to the defender's golf course at Menie. There was no finding by the court of "self publicity" and in fact, the Sheriff held Ms Beyts was a credible and reliable witness. 

"Rohan Beyts is a shameless activist with a history of antagonistic behaviour. She came onto our property with a hostile opponent of the project looking for trouble. We are a fully operational golf and leisure resort, with public restrooms. Had her intentions been honourable she would have used the facilities available to her". 

GLC comment: There was no finding in court of a history of antagonistic behaviour by Ms Beyts. There was no finding of hostile behaviour by Ms Beyts. Trump International has previously claimed Ms Beyts was very close to their clubhouse when she urinated. This was found to be untrue. She was in the Dunes near the beach in marram grass. She acted responsibly in terms of the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. Their employee admitted in his evidence that he often sees golfers relieving themselves on the course. 

"She is insincere about her motives for being on our land and needs to take accountability for her actions. Members of our green-keeping staff were flabbergasted at what they witnessed and reported the incident to the police. It should have come as no surprise to her that she was charged for publicly urinating on golf course land".

GLC comment: The court found that Ms Beyts was on the Trump International course exercising her public right of access in terms of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003. Sheriff Corke held that Trump International should never have photographed our client urinating. The court said 'I have to emphasise that officious bystanders taking pictures of females urinating in the countryside put themselves at very real risk of prosecution whether for a public order offence or voyeurism'. Sheriff Corke considered the criminal charge against Ms Beyts as 'frivolous'. 

Mike Dailly Solicitor Advocate said: "Trump International Golf Links Scotland would do well to now stop undertaking surveillance of walkers exercising their legal right to roam across their land. Taking footage or photographs of walkers urinating responsibly in accordance with the Scottish Outdoor Access Code may well be a criminal offence according to today's court ruling, and could potentially result in Trump International being subject to further litigation for breach of the Data Protection Act principles. Today's case was lost on a technical point in relation to the Act but no doubt future litigants would learn from this case".