We are acutely aware of the precipice on which criminal defence firms currently exist. We were encouraged by the idea of the Criminal Legal Aid Review (CLAR), and hopeful that there may be a commitment to pay legal aid practitioners fairly for work done. We understood that the process would take time, to ensure a proper understanding of the complex nature of the work being undertaken, and to ensure that any scheme would stand the test of time and underpin the sustainability of the criminal legal aid market for years to come.
The announcement by the MoJ to address certain aspects of criminal fees described as accelerated areas within the current consultation was also a welcome and refreshing approach. However, as you will note from our formal consultation response, we do not agree that what is proposed is in any sense a fair settlement for practitioners.
Please read our full response to the consultation here (PDF, 5 pages, 0.3MB)
For background and the MoJ’s position please see here.