Criminal lawyers consider further protest action

PUBLISHED January 20, 2014

The chairman of the Criminal Bar Association met justice secretary Chris Grayling and justice minister Shailesh Vara late last week to discuss the impact of legal aid cuts on criminal barristers.

In a note to his members, Nigel Lithman QC (pictured) said Grayling insisted that the fee cuts of up to 30% in some cases are 'writ in stone'.

Lithman said Grayling told him the Ministry of Justice needs to make £35m of 'cashable savings'.

The bar leader told Grayling to stop presenting 'misinformation' on the earnings of the criminal bar to the press and public, and suggested that savings should not come from cutting legal aid rates.

Meanwhile, groups representing barristers and criminal solicitors will meet again this week to discuss next steps following the half-day protest on 6 January.

Parties involved include The CBA, some circuit leaders, the Criminal Law Solicitors' Association (CLSA), the London? Criminal Courts' Solicitors Association and the Legal Aid Practitioners Group.

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