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Government postpones restructuring of Criminal Legal Aid fees until April 2016

The Law Society has made the following statement:

The Ministry of Justice has laid regulations postponing the restructuring of criminal legal aid fees until 1 April 2016.

Law Society president Jonathan Smithers said:

‘We welcome that the changes to criminal fees are being deferred from 11 January to 1 April 2016. The deferral will mean that firms in some areas, in particular the south east, will not suffer yet another massive reduction in fees. We are continuing to call for an independent review of the duty solicitor contract procurement process to bring to an end the chronic uncertainty faced by all criminal legal aid practitioners which is totally unacceptable.

‘In light of the ongoing litigation, we remain unconvinced, in spite of assurances by the LAA, that the new duty solicitor contracts will commence in April 2016, and that is why action is needed to resolve the legitimate concerns of criminal legal aid practitioners as a matter of the utmost urgency.’

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