The Solicitors Regulation Authority has put in place plans to fast-track alternative business structure and other new entity applications from criminal law firms in the event that the legal action against the government’s plans to reform legal aid fails.
The Bar Council has called for strict new rules to check that criminal law solicitors are acting properly when they guide clients to in-house advocates as opposed to external counsel.
More chambers have come out in open criticism of the Criminal Bar Association (CBA) and Bar Council’s deal with the government over legal aid last week. Meanwhile, the BSB is consulting on whether a fee cut by the Legal Aid Agency should no longer automatically entitle a barrister to return instructions.
Civil war broke out among criminal defence lawyers yesterday in the wake of a deal struck between the government and the Criminal Bar Association. Solicitors accused the Bar’s leadership of using “the unity of the profession to pursue self-interest”.
The Chancellor George Osborne yesterday confirmed that there would be no delay in introducing the changes to the way LLPs are taxed, which has left many firms seeking funding for capital contributions.
Government statements that criminal barristers earn an average of £84,000 from legal aid were misleading, the UK Statistics Authority has suggested. The Ministry of Justice is now to submit itself to a statutory assessment of its highly controversial statistics.
A Law Society guide to criminal legal aid after the cuts has laid bare the scale of the hurdles facing firms that wish to stay in the market and advised they choose one of three options: merger or acquisition, joint venture or collaboration.
The solicitor behind the special general meeting (SGM) on the Law Society’s strategy in its campaign against criminal legal aid cuts, has called for the resignation of president Nick Fluck, claiming he has “underwritten” the government’s reforms.
A special general meeting on a motion of no confidence in the Law Society’s top officials’ handling of criminal legal aid negotiations with the government is to take place a month from now.
The campaign by a group of criminal law solicitors for a vote of no confidence in the Law Society’s top officials stepped up a gear yesterday when a petition requisitioning an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) was handed in to Chancery Lane.