Legal Aid

Call to Arms – Comment

PUBLISHED February 12, 2007

Will the Law Society now start to do what it should have been doing for years, that is, bring pressure on the government to reward ? if not handsomely, then at least realistically ? those at the sharp end of the legal profession, or will it throw criminal practitioners to the financial wolves? I would hope the former, but, bearing in mind the Society?s long record of doing nothing to promote the interests of the legally aided side of the profession ? both criminal and civil ? I very much fear the latter.

If, as I suspect, the Carter plans are foisted on the profession, may I strongly recommend that the entire profession tells the government to stuff it, turning its attention to doing work that is properly remunerated.

I have been, and still am, a duty solicitor, both at police stations and courts, since the inception of the respective schemes. I am now almost completely retired ? this work is virtually all I do and I do not believe that I will continue to do it beyond the extent of my present practising certificate. I therefore have no long-term personal interest in ensuring adequate remuneration for firms that offer legal aid ? I just feel that it is high time that the profession as a whole took action to protect itself.

I have never felt that strike action would really resolve anything ? until now.

Nicholas Arrow, Musbury, Devon