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Law Society calls for extension of family legal aid contracts

Date:11 OCT 2010

Law Society The Law Society is calling on the Legal Services Commission (LSC) to extend existing family contracts until April 2012, following the High Court's decision on 30 September to quash the outcome of the family tender round for new legal aid contracts.

The Law Society brought the judicial review after the recent tender round of family legal aid contracts cut the number of firms by 46% that would have been able to able to do family law work from 14 October.

According to the Law Society Gazette, some firms that were successful in their tender bid are now considering seeking compensation from the LSC if it fails to overturn the result.

The LSC has now written to providers who hold the 2007 Unified Contract (Civil) confirming that the contract will be extended to 14 November 2010.

In his judgment Mr Justice Moses declared the LSC breached procurement law by failing to give advance notice of the requirement for panel membership. The judge quashed the contracts in four categories of practice: family; housing and family; children only; and child abduction.