Staff and clients of legal advice law centres demonstrated outside Kingston County Court Tuesday morning as part of a London-wide protest against cuts in legal aid.

The new Government rules, due to take effect in October, will mean budget cuts in areas such as housing, employment and community care law. It also mean legal aid casework will be charged on a fixed-fee basis, which workers say will disadvantage poor people and lead to winnable cases being dropped on cost grounds.

The protest is part of the Access to Justice Alliance week of protests which has the backing of Mayor of London Ken Livingstone.

Bob Nightingale, chief executive of South West London Law Centres said: "The number of people being seen will go up as is intended but the number of people receiving sufficient help to solve their problem will go down. The new system also adds so much extra bureaucracy that it is absolutely awful value for money."