Sir, Richard Miller (letter, July 17) incorrectly suggests that increases in graduated fee rates to be paid to barristers for Crown Court advocacy will be funded from money that currently goes to solicitors.
As Table 6.2.3 to Lord Carter of Coles?s report on legal aid procurement makes clear, the overall budget for payments for Crown Court advocacy will decrease in absolute terms, and will (in fact) fall relatively more steeply than the budget for payments to Crown Court solicitors.
Increases for the Junior Bar to redress the impact of inflation over many years are not only well deserved and long overdue, but are funded from the demise of individually assessed fees, which were previously paid to barristers for Crown Court work. Such fees were paid, for example, for 11-40 day cases, and are now paid as graduated fees.
The details of Lord Carter?s recommendations repay detailed consideration.
STEPHEN HOCKMAN, QC
Chairman of the Bar Council
GEOFFREY VOS, QC
Vice-Chairman of the Bar
Council and Chairman of the Carter Response Group