The Law Society has written to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) to inform them that it will cease its involvement in the Advocates’ Graduated Fee Scheme (AGFS) working group because of a concern about a lack of openness and transparency and the inability to share the documentation provided by the MoJ with our expert committee to get their views
Law Society president Robert Bourns said: ‘We have been involved in the working group since 2015 but recently restrictions on how information was shared meant it was not possible for us to contribute to the process in a meaningful way.
‘Our working group members had concerns about late changes to proposals, but were not permitted to discuss those concerns on a confidential basis with the Society’s expert committee.
‘As we are unable to discuss with our expert committee, the Society feels unable to continue to participate in this working group.
‘We will of course engage fully in the public consultation process. We will also continue to participate in the working group on the Litigators’ Graduated Fee Scheme, where the current terms of engagement allow us to make a meaningful contribution with appropriate input from our committee.’
The AGFS is the legal aid payment scheme for advocates (barristers and higher court advocates) in the Crown Court.