As reported in the news recently, solicitors and barristers in Liverpool are threatening to refuse to handle any new criminal cases from July 1 and meetings are taking place in other parts of the country to discuss similar action.
Lawyers across the UK are co-ordinating protests against cuts in legal aid fees and around 100 of Liverpool’s leading prosecutors and defence lawyers have agreed to take direct action against the latest 8.75% reduction – this is the second cut in a year.
The cuts come following the approval from the justice secretary, Michael Gove, who agreed to cuts for solicitors but suspended those directly affecting barristers who mainly work in crown courts.
Michael Gove, the justice secretary, approved the fee cut for solicitors this month, but suspended those directly affecting barristers, who work mainly in crown courts. In January 2016, new duty contracts for solicitors to cover police stations and magistrates courts will come into effect. This will change the paid rates for casework preparations – in some areas fees will all by 25%-30%.
Solicitors in Merseyside have decided to take action as they will not undertake work at such a low rate. This is something we’re also backing. Everyone deserves and fair trial and at such low rates, this isn’t possible.