The Law Society will appeal the High Court’s decision over the legal aid crime duty contract tender process.
The duty contracts tender remains frozen for the present. Lord Justice Laws refused permission to appeal but extended the stay until 16:00 next Friday (27 February). This was to enable the claimants to get the matter into the Court of Appeal.
The focus will now be on an application to the Court of Appeal to get an extended stay from them pending the appeal. The Criminal Law Solicitors’ Association and the London Criminal Courts Solicitors’ Association are leading on the injunction.
The likely timeframe for the rolled-up permission/appeal hearing remains before Easter, although, as with an injunction application, a lot depends on the Court of Appeal listings.
We do not yet know when the tender process will restart. We will keep members informed and issue guidance as soon as we have this information.