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Criminal legal aid survey extended to 25 October

Last updated: 16 October 2013

Update: The independent survey on duty solicitor contracts has been extended to Friday 25 October to give firms more time to take part in this crucial research.

In this video, Law Society chief executive Des Hudson talks about the importance of completing the survey. Please note - you'll only be able to view this video on a desktop or laptop computer.


The publication of 'Transforming Legal Aid: Next Steps' on the 5 September 2013 stated that the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and the Law Society would commission independent research to determine the number of duty contracts on offer. The Law Society is calling on crime solicitors to respond to an independent survey on the new contracting arrangements for duty work.

We need your views to determine the minimum level of work required - in light of the proposed reductions in fees - to give us assurance that your business can remain viable. With this minimum level of work in mind, we are also interested in how you would propose to structure your business on this basis (ie staffing levels, overheads etc).

Your input will help to set the number and size of duty solicitor contracts and will go some way to assuring the financial viability of the sector over the long term - one of the key concerns of the Society.

The Law Society secured a number of important concessions in the second MoJ paper, including the removal of price-competitive tendering, the retention of own client work, smaller geographical areas and the proposal to introduce interim payments.

Your participation in this survey is essential to ensure that the duty solicitor contracts are set at the right size to ensure that:

  • the maximum number of contracts are awarded
  • firms have financial stability in the long term

The research is being carried out by Andrew Otterburn and Vicky Ling, on behalf of the MoJ and the Law Society.

All the information you provide will be treated in the strictest of confidence. The Law Society and the MoJ will not see your individual responses and do not know you have taken part in the survey.

Please note: best estimates of the financial information required will be acceptable if you do not have accurate figures to hand.

The MoJ will be appointing financial consultants to model the data and those consultants will be provided with an anonymised dataset on the strict understanding that it is not to be shared with the MoJ. If you would like any more information about the survey please contact Andrew Otterburn on 01484 682928 or via email at

How to respond

Download the survey below and send your response to by 25 October.