A new business owned by “non-solicitor entrepreneurs” who have already invested £10m is promising to revolutionise the way in which criminal defence work is undertaken. Defence Hub is predicting that it will turnover more than £50m in its first year.
The government’s decision to drop the idea of price competitive tendering for criminal defence work is definitive proof that there is no link with the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates, which is going ahead as planned, the Bar Standards Board said yesterday.
The legal profession needs to face up to “some hard facts” – including an oversupply of lawyers – that go beyond government plans for legal aid reform, justice minister Lord McNally warned yesterday.
The Bar Standards Board has waded into the controversy over government plans to introduce price competitive tendering in criminal work by warning that it risks causing irreparable harm to the credibility of the criminal justice system and incentivises lawyers to encourage guilty pleas.
Plans to grow a criminal legal aid firm that has just received its alternative business structure licence – potentially through external investment – are on hold pending the outcome of the government’s current reform plans, according to its head of legal.
The Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates is illogical in its treatment of QCs and does not serve the public interest by allowing solicitors to act as plea-only advocates, the chairman of the Bar Council has argued. The claims come as the bodies representing criminal law solicitors and barristers united in calling for a halt to the scheme.
The Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (QASA) is unlawful, unnecessary and unworkable and will be judicially reviewed if it goes ahead, criminal law barristers will warn this week in a response to the final consultation seen by this website.
Our regular news round-up covers the Law Society bowing to pressure over criminal litigation accreditation scheme plans, banks signing up to a new probate protocol, QualitySolicitors’ charitable partnership with Barnardo’s, the College of Law adding a Masters in Law to the LPC, an IP firm diversifying, and sluggish growth at the top firms.
A firm in Plymouth has become the first criminal law practice to become an alternative business structure as the pace of new licences from the Solicitors Regulation Authority continues to step up.
The Law Society’s criminal litigation accreditation scheme is redundant, has no influence on clients and plans for reaccreditation are strongly opposed by the profession, the body representing criminal law solicitors has claimed.