Legal Aid

Solicitors will represent defendants for free (or will they?)

PUBLISHED October 13, 2011

The Law Society are judicially reviewing the removal of committal fees by the Ministry of Justice.  

The Law Society have requested that this matter is dealt with urgently, but the Ministry of Justice states that this is not an urgent issue because solicitors will represent defendants for free in the earlier stages of these proceedings.   
The LCCSA is asking all members to feedback their experience of what is happening in the Magistrates' Courts.  Are you or your firm representing defendants arrested for offences which are adjourned for committal proceedings in the knowledge you will not be paid for the case whilst it is in the Magistrates' Court?
Are you submitting legal aid application forms at the outset, or waiting until the case is committed?
Are you aware of defendants in custody being unrepresented, for example at a second bail hearing?
Do you or your firm have any view as to whether it is financially viable for you to represent defendants in these types of cases when you will not be paid?
This information will  assist the Law Society in gathering the material to support the judicial review action and members are asked to forward details of their experiences to Paul Harris at or provide feedback on twitter (@lccsa) or Facebook.