This is a continuation of the appeal that ended on 25 July 2017 focused on the claim for injunctions against our campaigners. That did amazingly and had over £22,000 in pledges from over 700 people. Sadly, due to Sheffield City Councils preference for taking legal action rather than talking, we still need more money for legal costs. As well as outstanding costs we will soon hear the judgement on the injunction case and may need to fight an appeal which could be a big new expense.
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 huge damages.
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 tree planting project, prefarably for street trees in Sheffield.
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 legal crowdfunding 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.