Bar Council statement on alternative PCT proposals

2 July 2013

The Bar Council along with the Criminal Bar Association, at the invitation of the Law Society, has been involved in continuous discussions about the Ministry of Justice'sTransforming Legal Aid consultation, which included the London Criminal Court Solicitors Association, the Solicitors Association of Higher Court Advocates, the Criminal Law Solicitors Association, the Legal Aid Practitioners Group, the Society of Asian Lawyers and representatives of a number of large solicitors' firms.

The Bar Council was aware that the Law Society was working on an alternative scheme to Price Competitive Tendering (PCT), but had no role in drafting that scheme.

The Bar Council welcomes the Lord Chancellor's statement on client choice, which is a fundamental element of any legal aid scheme which works in the public interest, but remains opposed to any form of PCT.

As yet, the Bar Council has not expressed a view on the Law Society's alternative scheme, which does not relate to the Bar, but will be examining it closely.