Monday 13 May 2013 by Catherine Baksi
The Law Society has published the list of the 30 criminal lawyers who will represent the profession at the first of two head-to-head meetings with the justice secretary in crunch talks over the government's planned criminal legal aid reforms.
The first meeting will take place at the Palace of Westminster on Wednesday.
Attendees are intended to represent a spectrum of criminal law firms and members of the Law Society's criminal law committee as well as other representative bodies, including the London Criminal Courts Solicitors Association and the Criminal Law Solicitors Association.
They will meet Chris Grayling to discuss the proposed criminal legal aid reforms, including fee cuts, the removal of client choice and the introduction of price-competitive tendering for contracts, which the profession have claimed will destroy the criminal justice system.
The attendees are:
Akhtar Ahmad, ABV (London)
Richard Atkinson, Robin Murray & Co (south-east)
Tracey Baker, Woollcombe Yonge (south-west)
Nick Barnes, Thomson Webb & Corfield (east)
Nigel Barnes, Ben Hoare Bell (north-east)
Mel Benn, Shelly & Co (east)
Rachel Bentley, Trinity Advocates (south-west)
Ashish Bhatia, Bhatia Best (East Midlands)
Sundeep Bhatia, Beaumonde (London)
Avtar Bhatoa, Bullivants (London)
Gary Bloxsome, Blackfords (London)
Chris Brown, Fosters (east)
Andrew Cosma, Martin Murray & Associates (London)
Vanessa Francis, St James Solicitors (south-west)
Tony Hine, Hine Solicitors (south-east)
Andrew Holroyd, Jackson & Canter (north-west)
Ian Kelcey, Kelcey & Hall (south-west)
Stephen Lickrish, Lickrish and Co (north-west)
Adam Makepeace, Tuckers
Joy Merriam, McCormacks
Simon Nicholls, Belmore (east)
Greg Powell, Powell Spencer and Partners (London)
Mark Savage, Anthony King & Co (east)
Philip Spicer, JD Spicer Zeb (London)
James Subbiani, RedKite
Ben Thomas, Sternberg Reed (Wales)
Nehal Vasani, Stringfellow & Co (London)
Bill Waddington, Williams (Yorkshire)
Kerry Waitt, BKRW
Rodney Warren, Rodney Warren & Co
A spokesman for the Society said: 'Our objective for this meeting was to ensure that the full variety of the Society's membership was fairly represented. The invitation list includes firms of all sizes and from all regions of England and Wales.'
A further meeting is scheduled for early next week, for representatives of local law societies.