Legal Portraits

England (and presumably Wales) is in danger of losing a proper legal aid system, with the government intent of getting rid of all the specialist lawyers and bringing in a US-style system where those who can afford a decent lawyer get cut price representation, often by young and incompetent lawyers, some of whom don’t care whether their clients are convicted or not, working for companies like Eddie Stobart and Tesco.

The whole legal profession seems up in arms about the proposals, except for a few government stooges  who get rolled out onto the media to defend the proposed changes, though they seldom have much to say other than the usual nonsense that we need to cut costs – and to blame all our problems on the previous Labour government.

I spent most of my time at the event taking portraits of the speakers and of people in the crowd. Most of them were made with the 70-300mm, and for some I could only get a clear view from a little further than was ideal. but there were still quite a few I liked.

Sadiq Khan, the Labour shadow minister, spoke forcefully, but there was just one short moment where it really showed in his expression, and I was pleased to have caught it.

I was pleased too with this picture of Anne Hall speaking about how legal aid saved the life of her invalid son Daniel Roque Hall, which again I felt showed some of her fighting spirit – which was also vital in saving her son.

Shami Chakrabarti of Liberty is perhaps easier to photograph than most, though there was one image in which I think I caught a little more of her alertness. And I was pleased too that Zita Holbourne was speaking – I think this was the third event I’ve photographed her at in the last couple of weeks.

But perhaps my favourite image was of a woman who wasn’t speaking but standing in the crowd, and who has good reason to value the legal aid system.

Of course I didn’t just photograph portraits – you can see my coverage of the whole event at Save Legal Aid in My London Diary.

My London Diary : Buildings of London : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated are by Peter Marshall and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

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