Richard Miller, head of justice, and Daniel Bonich, joint chair of the Criminal Law Solicitors’ Association, gave evidence to the Justice Select Committee regarding cuts to criminal legal aid and the impact of the long-term rates freeze on the defence profession. MPs listened to concerns over changes to the Litigators Graduated Fee Scheme (LGFS) and our new data showing a looming crisis in the number of defence solicitors.
We are aware that solicitors are coming under pressure from the court where counsel has declined to act in a Crown Court matter and that this could intensify. We are re-circulating the link to our guidance, which sets out the ethical, contractual and practical issues arising from this situation.
We are taking legal advice on solicitors’ rights and obligations in the face of demands from the courts with a view to updating the note further.