Transforming Legal Aid consultation: Law Society response
The Law Society believes that the government's proposals for introducing competition in the criminal legal aid market present unacceptable risks to the administration of the criminal justice system.
The abolition of choice of solicitor will remove one of the key drivers for quality and we do not believe that the existing market will be able to adjust to the new provisions without risking serious detriment to quality and availability of services.
In preparing our response, we commissioned research from Andrew Otterburn and Vicky Ling into the finances of legal aid firms, and broader market analysis from Deloitte.
These reports vindicate our grave concerns that the approach proposed by the government is economically unviable.
The reports are attached at Annexes A and B, and we have highlighted relevant parts of their analysis throughout.
We have also set out our serious concerns about proposals that will further erode legal aid provision for civil and prison law matters.
Download the full response and accompanying documents below.