MoJ: Amending the Advocates’ Graduated Fee Scheme

The JLD has responded to the Ministry of Justice consultation on Amending the Advocates’ Graduated Fee Scheme which was published in August 2018.

In this consultation the MoJ brought forward proposals for allocating an additional £15 million of spending to the Advocates’ Graduated Fee Scheme (AGFS). The AGFS is the fee scheme through which criminal defence advocates are paid for carrying out publicly funded work in the Crown Court.

In summary, the JLD is receptive to the engagement shown by the Ministry of Justice on this issue. We are in agreement with the fact of an increase in fees however we do not believe that junior lawyers will be adequately compensated on the basis of current proposals. We are also concerned at the method of calculation used by the MoJ to value the offer at £15 million and feel that we are prohibited from commenting sensibly on the impact of the proposals due to the inadequate provision of information.

The JLD would like to thank John Bottomley, assistant solicitor at Petherbridge Bassra Solicitors and member of the Law Society’s Access to Justice Committee, and Scott Bowen, assistant solicitor at HPJV Solicitors, for providing the expertise to enable the JLD to respond to the individual questions and inform the JLD’s policy position on the consultation proposals.

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