Spotlight
Family Law Awards 2020
Shortlist announced - time to place your vote!
Court of Protection Practice 2020
'Court of Protection Practice goes from strength to strength, having...
Jackson's Matrimonial Finance Tenth Edition
Jackson's Matrimonial Finance is an authoritative specialist text...
Spotlight
Latest articles
Practical aspects to assessing competence in children
Rebecca Stevens, Partner, Royds Withy KingThis is an article regarding the practical aspects to assessing competence in children. The article explores a range of practicalities, such as meeting a...
Scrumping the crop of recent pension decisions
Rhys Taylor, 36 Family and 30 Park PlaceJonathan Galbraith, Mathieson Consulting2020 has thus far proved to be a memorable year for all the wrong reasons, but nonetheless it remains an interesting one...
Conduct in financial remedies – when is it now a relevant consideration?
Rachel Gillman, 1 GC/Family LawThis article provides an overview of all aspects of financial misconduct following the recent decision of Mostyn J in OG v AG [2020] EWFC 52, wherein all aspects of...
The treatment of RSUs/Stock Options in light of XW v XH
Peter Mitchell QC, 29 Bedford RowStock Options and Restricted Stock Units (RSUs) are frequently encountered by the Family Court when dividing property on divorce or dissolution of a Civil Partnership....
Hundreds of thousands of companies worldwide fall victims to hackers every year. Is your firm one of them?
SPONSORED CONTENT Image source: Information is beautifulYou and other lawyers and legal assistants in your firm likely have accounts on the hacked websites listed in the image above. If a hacker...
View all articles
Authors

Government postpones legal aid reforms

Sep 29, 2018, 19:13 PM
Slug : Government-postpones-legal-aid-reforms011211-951
Meta Title :
Meta Keywords :
Canonical URL :
Trending Article : No
Prioritise In Trending Articles : No
Date : Dec 1, 2011, 11:45 AM
Article ID : 97293

By Hugh Logue, Newswatch Editor

Big BenThe Government has announced that it will postpone the implementation of the legal aid aspects of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill currently passing through Parliament.

The postponement follows widespread criticism of the Bill from members of the House of Lords, the President of the Family Division, House of Lords Constitution Committee, senior judges, leading children's charities and all the family lawyers' professional associations.  

In a statement released today, the Lord Chancellor Kenneth Clarke said that subject to the Bill being passed, the Government now proposes to implement changes to family legal aid fees in April 2013, instead of October 2012.

The fees already changed under current legislation will be implemented as planned. However the Government is postponing changes to competitive tendering. The Lord Chancellor's statement said:  "Clearly the development of a competition strategy will be likely to have a substantial impact on the market for legally aided services, as will a number of other current developments. These changes will require significant levels of engagement between the Government and the profession. We plan to begin these discussions in early 2013 once the key components of our legal aid reform package, the regulatory changes allowing Alternative Business Structures, and the introduction of the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates have had time to bed down. We will publish a full formal consultation document on the competition strategy towards the end of that year."

The indicative timetable for the development of the Government's competition strategy is now as follows:

  • Consultation paper published: Autumn 2013
  • Response to consultation paper: Spring 2014
  • Tender opens in first competition areas: Autumn 2014
  • First contracts go live: Summer 2015

Desmond Hudson, Chief Executive of the Law Society welcomed the delay: "We have repeatedly warned that implementation of the proposed changes to legal aid scope and provision by October 2012 was impractical. The Government has taken a sensible decision to defer this deadline. The new timetable is still challenging, given the work required to implement changes of this magnitude.

"Like other small businesses, law firms need reasonable notice of changes affecting them. This announcement is a welcome recognition of that need. But even given a more workable implementation timetable, solicitors and their clients who rely upon legal aid to secure justice are not well served by the poorly-evidenced and ill-conceived measures in the Bill. The Bill will not deliver the claimed financial savings and risks denying access to justice to all but the well-off. This delay to the implementation schedule offers a window of opportunity to work with stakeholders in improving the Bill."

Categories :
  • News
Tags :
Authors
Provider :
Product Bucket :
Recommend These Products
Load more comments
Comment by from