It’s fair to say legal aid has not been at the forefront of the general election campaign, with the respective party manifestos barely giving it a mention.
So it was a happy coincidence for the legal profession that the bride-to-be who ambushed Labour leader Ed Miliband’s battle bus on her hen party last weekend happened to be a lawyer.
The hen in question was family law solicitor Nicola Braithwaite from Manchester firm Heaney Watson.
Much of the subsequent coverage focused on the group’s chants of ‘selfie’ and ‘hashtag Ed’, but Braithwaite has also done sterling work in highlighting the issue of civil legal aid cuts.
Braithwaite told the Gazette: ‘I always wanted to be a family lawyer to help the vulnerable in society.
‘I have seen first hand the impact of the drastic legal aid cuts introduced by the government. I do not feel that the government recognises the needs of those facing family law problems and does not protect them or provide them with access to justice.’
Of course, it would be remiss of Obiter not to mention that Ed Miliband and his party have made no commitment to restore any civil legal aid funding.
But we can hope that Braithwaite’s time on the bus - plus the numerous mentions of legal aid in the national media - did at least remind the Labour leader of the importance of the issue.
Obiter also takes its hat off to Heaney Watson for some opportunistic marketing, tweeting on Sunday: ‘#family law problems? Give us a bell. Our solicitors are here to help. Once they’ve finished talking to the next PM.’
As for Braithwaite and her 25 hens, they have plenty of pictures to remember the occasion and no doubt a story or two to tell when the big day comes on 13 June.