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Advocacy Section

Barristers and solicitors at odds over advocacy fee reform

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Divisions between solicitors and barristers have emerged as criminal defence practitioners digest the government’s latest proposals to reform advocacy fees.

The Criminal Law Solicitors’ Association (CLSA) and Criminal Bar Association (CBA) urge members to respond to the Ministry of Justice consultation in two markedly different statements published on their websites on 9 January.

The CLSA said the ministry’s scheme could not be commended to the profession, a view shared by the Law Society. However, CBA chair Francis FitzGibbon QC stood by his initial response that the scheme deserved a ‘cautious welcome’.

The CLSA highlighted several issues members may wish to consider ahead of the consultation’s 2 March deadline.

These include the impact of the Sentencing Council’s revised allocation guideline, which the CLSA said would mean far less work in the Crown courts for advocates.

 

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