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Asylum lawyer settles defamation case against the Sun over legal aid allegations


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An immigration lawyer has settled a defamation case against the Sun after being monstered for her work with detained asylum seekers.

The newspaper had accused Uma Devi Rajasundram of Milestone Solicitors of “shamelessly touting a price list” of legal aid charges for asylum seekers. The article was accompanied by quotes about “activist lawyers chasing dinghies”, a picture of Ms Rajasundram wearing a sari, and “racist and threatening” reader comments.

In fact the figures on the firm’s website were separate rates for private work, published in line with price transparency rules. They “had no relevance to Milestone’s legal aid work for detainees, which arose from advice surgeries at immigration removal centres”, Ms Rajasundram’s defamation lawyers point out.

The Sun admitted that it “had confused the two types of fee”. It has now pulled the article, published a clarification and paid a “very substantial five figure sum” to cover legal costs.

Ms Rajasundram said, “What The Sun falsely claimed about my firm and I would have involved a serious breach of our professional ethics”.

“This article was an example of unjustified newspaper attacks on legal aid lawyers working hard to secure access to justice for the most vulnerable in society. Legal aid solicitors should not have to face such vitriol just for doing their job”.

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CJ McKinney

CJ McKinney is a specialist on immigration law and policy. Formerly the editor of Free Movement, you will find a lot of articles by CJ here on this website! Twitter: @mckinneytweets.