The Government has won crucial votes in the House of Lords over cuts to legal-aid services for immigration and debt advice.
The victories were made all the more important after the Government had suffered six defeats in the upper house last week.
The debate on the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill stretched late into the night on Monday, with Liberal Democrat peers turning out in force to see changes to immigration and debt advice voted through.
Ken Clarke's bill, designed to trim £350m from the legal-aid budget, had suffered several defeats in the upper chamber last week.
One of the crucial votes on Monday was on cuts to legal aid for immigration cases. The opposition had tabled an amendment to see the proposal scrapped, with Labour proponent Lord Bach claiming that reducing legal aid in such cases would force vulnerable clients into the hands of "second-rate, greedy advisers".
However, speaking to support the proposal on immigration, the advocate-general for Scotland, Lord Wallace of Tankerness replied: "The bill does not set out a blanket exclusion of immigration cases."
He cited the fact that asylum cases involving detention, domestic violence or judicial review would all still continue to receive legal aid.
"Many, many immigration cases are relatively straightforward and individuals should be capable of dealing with the issues without the need for a lawyer," he added.
The other major proposal to be voted through will see legal aid for debt advice removed for all but the most serious cases, such as those involving an immediate risk of repossession or involuntary bankruptcy.
Opponents claim this will have serious economic and social consequences for the country's most vulnerable. However, supporters argue that the country's economic position means that scarce resources must be channelled to the most vulnerable, and that often those in need require practical advice rather than specialist legal advice.
The next stage of voting on the bill comes today when proposals to reform the 'no-win, no-fee' system come under the spotlight.
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