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Civil legal aid contracts to be extended for one month

6 September 2010

All civil legal aid contracts will be extended for one month, the Law Society has said. Existing contracts are due to expire on 14 October this year.

Following a meeting with the society today, the LSC is to issue a statement on the move, which follows a judicial review hearing at the High Court last week.

A spokesman for the society said the High Court last week granted an expedited hearing of the judicial review brought by the society into the award of family legal aid contracts, which resulted in the number of firms with contracts falling from 2,400 to 1,300.

“The court also ordered that new contracts should not be issued pending the hearing of the case, though the LSC’s work on appeals and verification will continue.

“The LSC has agreed that existing civil legal aid contracts will be extended by one month.”

The spokesman added that the judicial review hearing on family contracts was scheduled for Tuesday 21 September with judgment expected to be delivered on Friday 24 September.

A separate judicial review of the award of social welfare contracts has been brought by the Community Law Partnership.

Mr Justice Collins, sitting at the High Court in Birmingham, described the criteria used for the social welfare tender as “utterly absurd and irrational”.

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