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Ministry of Justice (MoJ) plans to impose cuts of up to £30 million on criminal defence solicitors have been condemned by the Law Society. The cuts come less than a month after the MoJ published proposals that will see QCs’ fees rise by 10 per cent at the expense of other criminal advocates.
Under the plans published on 10 February, the MoJ will reduce payments to advocates appointed by the court to cross-examine alleged victims of abuse from private rates to legal aid rates, and will make changes to the Litigators Graduated Fee Scheme, which will slash payments for paper-heavy Crown Court cases.
The reason given for this latter change is that more pages of evidence are now being served by the CPS, and therefore average costs per case are increasing.