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The harsh reality of 
criminal legal aid contracting

With the new criminal legal aid contracts imminent, Richard Nelson calls for law firms to start considering their options

17 November 2015

Legal aid has always been a topic that’s shrouded in public cynicism and negativity. It’s an area where practitioners seldom receive good news. Government cuts have plagued legal aid funding for years and the current duty solicitor contract cut has proved to be no different. ?The announcement is set to ?be the most significant blow of all. There are, however, options for those affected.

The reform was spearheaded by the previous Lord Chancellor, Chris Grayling, in an attempt ?to achieve yet further savings. Whereas previously thousands of firms offered services in criminal legal aid, contracts ?are now only being issued to a fraction of the original number.

This cut in contracting is set ?to severely affect hundreds of solicitors and their clients. ?Sadiq Khan MP has previously predicted that miscarriages of justice will arise from the cuts already made. In addition to this, and the restrictions of freedom of choice, further fee cuts are planned in the ne...

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