THANKS TO hours of hard lobbying and argument by the Bar?s negotiating team led by Geoffrey Vos, QC, most barristers seemed to have struck a pretty good deal out of the Carter reforms, with pay rises ranging up to 30 per cent ? putting them back to where they were ten years ago when fees were frozen. But ministers were privately also claiming a victory: the Bar?s claim costed ?5 million but they had knocked it down to ?4 million, saving ?1 million.

Vera Baird, QC, the Legal Aid Minister, has the unenviable task of travelling the country over August to gather views on the proposals. But won?t all lawyers be on holiday? ?I?m rather hoping so,? she admitted at the Institute of Barristers? Clerks? dinner last week

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