Sheffield Street Strees Legal Fund

by Chris Rust in Sheffield, England, United Kingdom

Sheffield Street Strees Legal Fund
We did it
On 25th July 2017 we successfully raised £22,830 with 700 supporters in 28 days

We need money to cover the legal costs of tree campaigners who are subjected to action in a civil or criminal court

by Chris Rust in Sheffield, England, United Kingdom

 New stretch target

Appeal Finished at 16:24 25 July 2017 but we are continuing to ask for legal funds at

22 July: The news from the High Court is encouraging but it is now certain we'll have a lot more legal costs to meet. The total bill to go to the full hearing on 26 July is likely to be around £40,000 and there are other legal costs to cover. Our solicitors, Howells, have been very generous with their time but they can't do everything for free and there are other court and legal costs that can't be avoided. We've covered our immediate needs with donations here and direct to our legal fund but we face considerable extra charges.

Having achieved our initial modest target of £5000 and several 'stretch' targets  with plenty of time in hand we have set a new 'stretch target' of £25,000. We still have 3 days to go on this appeal (we'll probably have another one to follow on)

As ever we will not divert this money to any other purpose, if we reach the day when we don't anticipate any further legal battles we will donate the residue to a legal aid charity, but that day is a probably long way off. We have been able to pay some of the costs in the injunction case because we had some left from the money collected to support those arrested earlier in the campaign.

NOW Closed (from 16:24 25 July 2017), But we are continuing to appeal for legal funds at

Earlier this year we fought off attempts to use the criminal law and the police against us, largely through the efforts of our supporters and the work of Howell's Solicitors and barrister, Paul Powlesland.

Sheffield City Council are determined to beat us and have come up with some new legal schemes, including threatening protestors with injunctions and claims for damages. We will need money to defend our supporters against these threats and get legal advice. We are starting with an appeal for £5000 for legal advice and support but we will need more than that if this gets to court so please give even if we get beyond out target.

The fund will be administered by Chris Rust and Rebecca Hammond, as Co-Chairs of Sheffield Tree Action Groups. Banking and accounting services to look after the fund will be provided by the Nether Edge Tree Fund who also look after our current legal funds. The Nether Edge Tree Fund is a legally constituted group separate from other campaign groups in the city, set up to manage moneys collected to help protect and develop our street trees across the city.

All money contributed will be spent on legal costs and court charges incurred by Sheffield Tree Action Groups (STAG) or our supporters, if they are not eligible for legal aid, engaged in campaign actions. Decisions on how to spend the money will be made by the administrators who will seek advice from the STAG steering group. Any money left when there is no further forseeable need for legal funding will be donated to a legal aid charity.

If we are unsuccessful in our current case, adverse costs could, in some circumstances, be sought from donors who have supported a case. The advice from the 'Crowd Justice' website, which deals with many legalcrowdfunding appeals, is: UK Case Law indicates that pure funders - Backers who don't have a personal interest in the Case, don't stand to benefit from it and don't control the course of the Case - will not typically have any liability beyond their pledge.

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