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Law Society alternative to price-competitive tendering

1 July 2013

This document sets out the details of the Law Society's proposed alternative to price-competitive tendering. It begins from the premise that the Ministry of Justice's approach, as set out in the Transforming Legal Aid consultation paper, is completely unworkable.

The alternative carefully balances competing objectives of the ministry, the profession and the public interest. It has three core objectives:

  1. Retain choice - under our proposal client choice is not only retained, but actively encouraged and facilitated via the provision of information to defendants. Choice regulates quality and ensures the proper functioning of the market.
  2. Provide certainty - the system has been plagued by uncertainty about its future. This situation must be ended. A new system of rolling contracts with participation subject to attaining the standards of a progressively more rigorous Quality and Capacity Framework should be introduced to provide the certainty needed to invest and expand.
  3. Facilitate efficiency - our plan reforms the duty solicitor scheme to remove unnecessary costs, proposes to overhaul the wasted costs orders system to incentivise more efficient behaviour and utilises the Quality and Capacity Framework to drive positive outcomes.

Read the full document below.