Legal Business

Legal profession forms united front on proposed cuts to legal aid

Last month court staff across the country took the unusual step of going on strike in a rare show of solidarity among all strands of the legal profession against the Ministry of Justice (MoJ)’s controversial proposals to slice £220m off the £1.2bn annual criminal legal aid budget.

The strike, while said by lawyers and court officials alike to have caused little disruption, stands out for being part of a series of measures taken by the ordinarily fragmented profession to emphasise its profound disapproval of reforms proposed by justice secretary Chris Grayling, including the introduction of price competitive tendering (PCT), the removal of the automatic right to legal aid for defendants with disposable income of more than £37,500 and the restriction of the right for defendants to choose their own solicitor.