Hogan Lovells wins pro bono battle to save Chichester Court

As part of its pro bono practice, Hogan Lovells has secured an important win for its client, West Sussex Resolution, the family law organisation, in a battle to protect access to justice in West Sussex.

HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) had decided to close Chichester Court and transfer all local cases to towns outside West Sussex.  

Following a three-year long legal process, it has now committed to on-going court provision in the town for civil and family law cases, opening new court premises in the district council headquarters at East Pallant House.  

This will ensure essential alternative court provision for civil and family law cases in the region, bridging geographical gaps that restrict access to justice.

Edward Cooke, director at Edward Cooke Family Law and one of the family lawyers from West Sussex Resolution represented by Hogan Lovells, said: "While East Pallant House will have reduced capacity for hearings compared to the existing building, the outcome represents a huge victory for the campaign to keep court provision in the city.

"I hope the example of Chichester will inspire other towns and cities faced with losing essential local justice facilities not to give up. Taking on the government and Whitehall juggernaut is a daunting prospect at the best of times and, without the pro bono support of the expert and dedicated legal team at Hogan Lovells, I am not sure we would have won through.”

Charles Brasted, partner at Hogan Lovells who led on the case, said: "Ensuring continued access to justice for the most vulnerable members of society is vital. We are proud to have supported West Sussex Resolution and are thrilled with the outcome of the case, and the important precedent that it sets. Court closures must not be allowed to go through without rigorous scrutiny and adequate alternative provision in place."


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