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Solicitors Refuse to Take on New Crown Court Cases
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Summary: The Ministry of Justice has cut the pay rate fees for solicitors, causing them to protest by not taking on new cases with those lower fees.

With a drop in pay for solicitors of 17.5 percent, criminal barristers are refusing to take new cases at crown courts. They have been refusing new cases for three weeks on new cases at the lower rates. Solicitors have been working in magistrate courts and police stations in an effort to show solidarity and helping smaller cash-strapped firms that work in the lower courts.

  
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The Criminal Bar Association voted to continue supporting the protest. The CBA understands that solicitors are making a big personal sacrifice by not taking on cases but that sacrifice must happen in order to keep the quality of the criminal justice system at its best.

President of the Criminal Courts Solicitors’ Association said the solicitors were feeling bad that law firms were being bogged down so that is why they are returning to the magistrates courts but not the crown courts.

The Ministry of Justice has agreed to have an independent review done to examine the effects of the lower pay rates but it won’t begin until next summer. They do not believe the action of the solicitors has caused any disruption in the legal system. The reason the MoJ claims that the pay rate fees had to be cut was to “deliver value for money to taxpayers.” They do not feel that cutting the fees will affect the quality of legal advice available to those that need it.

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Source: http://www.theguardian.com/law/2015/jul/27/criminal-barristers-stop-taking-new-crown-court-cases-legal-aid-protest

Photo: theguardian.com





 

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