President Donald Trump has been advised not to contribute to a fund set up to help former campaign aides and White House staffers pay legal bills related to the investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election, a person familiar with the matter said.The fund, which began taking contributions last week, offers a financial lifeline to staffers who may face tens of thousands of dollars in legal expenses from just a single interview with Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The fund hasn’t disclosed how much it’s raised or who has donated.Trump told some staffers last year that he wanted to help with their legal bills and asked his lawyers whether that could be done without violating regulatory and ethical standards, the person said. After reviewing the structure of the fund, people involved in the process advised him not to contribute.The law doesn’t bar the president from giving gifts to those who report to him, but Trump’s case raises unique questions … [Read more...] about Trump Advised to Stay Away From Fund for Staff in Russia Probe
Legal assistance funding
WHEN private practice solicitors started withdrawing from police station duty work at the end of last year their hope was to force the Scottish Government to start paying higher rates for publicly funded legal work. Carnegie UK Trust chief executive Martyn Evans has put paid to that, though, by stressing that there is no justification for fee increases in his long-awaited report into how the legal aid system should be reformed. Rather than paying lawyers more to do the same work, he said, the system should be overhauled to simplify the way legal assistance, as he termed it, is delivered, including by making greater use of technology. Loading article content READ MORE: Government review rejects pleas to raise legal aid fees Inevitably, this could lead to individual lawyers earning even less from legal aid work, as layers of bureaucracy are stripped out to ensure the system is focused on the needs of end-users as opposed to service providers. This will be cold comfort for the … [Read more...] about Margaret Taylor: Is legal assistance just a means of providing legal aid on the cheap?
CAMPAIGNERS working to save a beloved green space have vowed to keep on fighting as they look to future generations and the possibility of crowd-funding legal representation. On December 14 Epping Forest District Council (EFDC) voted to destroy Jessel Green and build 154 homes in its place, to help meet central government targets. A 300 strong protest on the field was followed by a petition signed by just shy of 5,000 people, with a small group of organiser mobilising the many residents desperate to see the council change its plans. Although the submission deadline for alternative proposals was on Monday, campaigner Neil Bartlett is determined to keep fighting. The black cab driver said: "We have realised we haven't reached two areas - the young and the elderly. "I have a 13 year-old daughter and I know she and her friends have quite strong opinions about this, and they feel they haven't been heard. "Because it is such a complex document, we are thinking of making a … [Read more...] about Jessel Green: Campaigners turn towards future generations and consider legal challenge
For the first 18 months after the September 11 attacks, US officials charged that Saudi Arabia, shell-shocked by the fact that a majority of the perpetrators had been Saudi nationals, was dragging its feet on implementing measures to prevent Saudis from funding militant Islamic groups like al Qaeda. It took a series of al Qaeda attacks on Saudi targets in 2003 and 2004 to persuade the kingdom to pay more than lip service to the need to halt funding of terrorist groups. US and European officials acknowledge that the Saudi government has introduced strict monitoring of bank transactions and banned the transfer abroad of charitable funds without government approval. They also note that some 100 suspected terrorism financiers have been arrested in the kingdom over the past two years, approximately 20 of which were prosecuted. Most recently, Saudi authorities said that they had arrested a charity official for directing funds to extremists. The praise for the Saudi efforts by US … [Read more...] about Saudis fail to halt terrorism funding despite minor gains
Since fleeing to Russia two years ago, the Ukrainian ex-President has gone underground. Viktor Yanukovych's only connection to the outside world is through his lawyers. They have been instructed to have their client's European bank accounts unlocked. In this legal battle, no cost is too little for Yanukovych. Representing him at the European Court of Justice, which is expected to hand down its judgment on Thursday, is the British star-lawyer, Thomas Beazley. In Moscow he is held to be the best man to fight EU sanctions. He has even represented state-run companies, such as the mineral oil company, Rosneft, at the European court of Justice. Yanukovych is able to afford expensive lawyers, because according to EU law, he is able to rely on the funds in his seized bank accounts. According to the Financial Intelligence Unit, which is the central agency for combating money laundering, there are hundreds of millions of US dollars and Swiss franks seized in bank accounts held under the names … [Read more...] about EU is at risk of losing legal battle with Yanukovych