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Law Society response to MoJ proposal on further transitional support for criminal legal aid practitioners

27 March 2014

Law Society chief executive Desmond Hudson said:

'As a result of further discussions with the Law Society and the Bar Council, the Lord Chancellor has announced additional changes to his plans affecting both criminal legal aid solicitors and barristers.

'He has agreed to make an additional £9 million available to fund the introduction of interim payments for solicitors from this summer, a year earlier than had been planned.

'The additional funding means that solicitors will be allowed to make a claim for payment following an effective Plea and Case Management Hearing (PCMH). The change will ease cashflow for all providers during 2014/15 and provide some assistance to our hard-pressed members who are facing dire circumstances and battling to deal with the 8.75 per cent cut which came into effect last week.

'The ministry's pledge today to take the work of Sir Bill Jeffrey, Sir Brian Leveson's review of criminal procedure as well as criminal justice reforms and the latest legal aid fund forecast into account before determining the final figure for the second cut (for both barristers and solicitors in 2015) is a further potential source of help for our members.

'We have not regarded these cuts as sustainable and we continue to press the Legal Aid Agency to support solicitors in the thirty areas where the analysis provided by KPMG indicated the cuts pose a very serious challenge.'

Ends

Notes to editors

Read the MoJ's statement

The Law Society is the independent professional body, established for solicitors in 1825, that works globally to support and represent its members, promoting the highest professional standards and the rule of law.

We aim to be the leading representative of the world's best legal profession, valued as a vital partner by all we serve and engage with.