Breaking News – Guidance from Law Society on Criminal Bar Action

The Law Society has now issued formal guidance to members over the action which a large number of Chambers have joined since 1st April 2018 . This follows the implementation of the new AGFS scheme together with further cuts to the LGFS which are currently subject to a judicial review by the Law Society .

For your info here is the CBA Statement ANNOUNCEMENTFORMEMBERS (2)

And Here is the Law Society Guidance https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/News/Stories/guidance-where-counsel-declines-to-act-in-crown-court-matters/

As the Law Society notes

After more than 20 years without any sort of basic cost of living pay rise, and an 8.75 per cent cut to solicitors’ fees in 2014, criminal law is no longer an attractive career option for young solicitors or barristers. Data currently being analysed by the Law Society paints a very bleak picture of a future England and Wales littered with ‘advice deserts’, where the remaining criminal solicitors will have retired with no young solicitors coming in to take their place.

The Bar’s reaction appears to be yet another result of the impact of years of chronic under-funding of the criminal justice system, and of defence lawyers in particular. The Law Society has recently brought judicial review proceedings in a bid to reverse a cut to the Litigators Graduated Fee Scheme (LGFS), which is likely to leave many of our members facing serious financial difficulties.

The Law Society legally  cannot encourage members to take industrial action but it understands if members want to support the action taken individually . The note provides guidance how members should navigate the issues that are likely to arise .

Doncaster Law Society supports any action its members choose to take . we will circulate details of any meetings that are arranged or any further information as we get it .

What is clear is that after sustained cuts for many years our members simply cannot continue and to do so will only hasten the demise of a justice system which is already decimated by these unnecessary cuts .