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Judicial review of Government’s legal aid contracts

Fair Crime Contracts Alliance has been given High Court permission for a judicial review of the tender procurement process for new criminal legal aid contracts.

Following the Lord Chancellor’s multi-million pound legal aid cuts in 2014; through the reduction of duty providers from 1600 to 525 providers, and implementing a 8.75 per cent average fee cuts, the new contracts were scheduled to come in October 2015.

The recently formed organisation who represent a number of law firms that unsuccessfully bid for contracts earlier this year. The Law Society had already called for an independent review of the procurement process review as ‘a matter of the upmost urgency’ given the ‘crippling uncertainty’ and ‘on-going and significant delays’, following the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) postponing their implementation in October.

A statement from the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) highlights that: ‘The LAA will robustly defend any legal challenges including this judicial review. Our first priority is to ensure criminal legal aid remains available to those who need it.’

Original article by Solicitors Journal