Criminal Legal Aid sustainability


21 August 2014

By Roger Brice

A leading criminal lawyer, Franklin Sinclair, has recently argued in a speech to the Legal Aid Practitioners’ Group that the current legal aid system can only sustain a maximum of 300 criminal solicitors firms rather the 1,600 there are currently in theUK. 

He has supported and reiterated the argument that many in the profession have been putting forward for considerable time that the latest cuts have resulted in many firms not being able to afford to defend people effectively when being remunerated on legal aid rates.

The Ministry of Justice is planning a new wave of cuts which go up to 30% in some areas. This comes on top of a 40% cut in fees for criminal legal aid lawyers since 1997.

Many of the country’s leading and prominent lawyers have insisted that these cuts will lead to miscarriages of justice and individuals having to pay legal fees from their own money if they wish to have a higher level of service delivered.

Mr. Sinclair has stated that there will inevitably be a large-scale consolidation of the market in the coming years with many bigger firms thriving and incorporating smaller firms, the remainder of which will go bankrupt.

The above is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues. 

If you require further information please contact Elizabeth Bradshaw on 01245 228125 or email