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Tag Archive | "law gazette"

Any chance of compensation?

Following Michael Gove’s announcement that he was abandoning a new contracting regime for criminal legal aid, some criminal defence firms are considering whether to seek compensation from the government.

While welcoming the decision not to go ahead with the introduction of the dual contracting system, shadow justice minister Andy Slaughter told the House of Commons: “This has been an appalling use of taxpayers’ money. It has posed an existential threat to a fundamental part of our legal system, and it has caused uncertainty, failure and distress to thousands of hard-working small businesses throughout the country.” Read the full story

Posted in Criminal Justice, Legal AidComments (0)

Legal aid reforms and the election

According to the ‘Law Gazette’, lord chancellor Chris Grayling may not be able to proceed with his controversial legal aid reforms, even if he emerges victorious from a challenge heard in the Court of Appeal last week.

The Law Society and practitioner groups the Criminal Law Solicitors’ Association and London Criminal Courts Solicitors’ Association are appealing against Chris Grayling’s decision to press ahead with two-tier contracts for criminal legal aid. Government plans could result in some of the most vulnerable people being denied access to legal representation when they are accused of a crime. Read the full story

Posted in Criminal Justice, Legal AidComments (0)

Not an Epiphany

Criminal barristers will stay away from court on 6 January in protest over cuts to criminal legal aid, the Criminal Bar Association has confirmed.

The CBA has hit out against a ‘misleading, cynical and underhand’ list of barristers’ names sent by the Legal Aid Agency to solicitors looking for counsel to undertake very high cost cases (VHCC). Read the full story

Posted in Criminal Justice, Legal AidComments (0)

Glass ceiling

The Chambers Student Guide is an in-depth guide to finding a legal career in the UK. It reviews solicitors’ firms, barristers’ chambers, and law schools and provides market analysis and guidance on the recruitment process. Read the full story

Posted in UncategorizedComments (0)

The Attorney General’s warning

The Annual Bar Conference 2013 was held at the Westminster Park Plaza, London, last weekend, and the ‘Law Gazette’ reported on the proceedings.

In his capacity as head of the bar, Attorney General Dominic Grieve, QC addressed the conference. He expressed sympathy with many of the bar’s current concerns. He said he understands the difficulties faced by the bar over very high cost cases (VHCC) for which, from this month, fees paid will be cut by 30%. He agreed that the fee cuts will not encourage the best students to come to the bar in the future. He said: “There is a serious issue of whether the bar will be attractive.” Read the full story

Posted in Criminal Justice, Legal AidComments (0)

Law Society Roadshows

“We must face the practical reality. There were going to be cuts. Our agreement is the best available package…However, as a mature professional body we have to work for the best outcome for our members within the boundaries of what is realistically possible.” The words of Desmond Hudson, chief executive of the Law Society, in response to the government’s revised set of proposals for contracting criminal legal aid. Read the full story

Posted in Legal AidComments (0)

Client choice climbdown

Chris Grayling has performed a massive U-turn over controversial plans to deprive defendants of the opportunity to choose a solicitor. The justice secretary has abandoned one of the most contentious aspects of proposals to cut £220m a year from the legal aid budget. Read the full story

Posted in Criminal Justice, Legal AidComments (0)

Chris Grayling’s baby

Reducing the fees of barristers and solicitors should be an easy policy to sell in an era of austerity. But, as Chris Grayling’s minions attempt to spin highly misleading stories about ‘fatcat legal aid lawyers’, such has been the persistent ferocity of the united opposition to the ‘Transforming legal aid’ consultation that focus has fallen on the author of this lamentable scheme. Read the full story

Posted in Criminal Justice, Legal AidComments (1)

Client choice

It seems that client choice is following the path of so much else in the criminal legal system as it is threatened with being killed off in the proposed shake up of criminal legal aid.

Despite the fact we all believed this was protected in LASPO, it seems the minister allowed himself enough wriggle room and soon it will be like A&E, you simply get the first doctor to see you and no choice in the matter.

S.27 of LASPO says: Read the full story

Posted in Criminal JusticeComments (0)

Digital working

On Tuesday, Policing and Criminal Justice Minister Damian Green delivered a speech at the centre-right think tank ‘Reform’ on crime and justice policy.

One of the themes of his speech was the failure to exploit technology. He said: “Anyone who compares the way the criminal justice system works with any other modern workplace will be immediately struck by the terrible failure to take advantage of all the benefits that technology can bring. If you compare basic processes that take place across the country all the time Read the full story

Posted in Criminal JusticeComments (0)

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