Update from the Chairman

9 April 2013

As you will probably be aware, the Ministry of Justice has today published its long-awaited 164-page consultation paper entitled "Transforming legal aid: delivering a more credible and efficient system".
A Bar Council working group will meet on Thursday to begin to digest the vast amount of detail which is covered by the consultation. We recommend that Specialist Bar Associations, chambers and individuals start working on their own responses as soon as possible. We encourage you to respond.
The headlines so far are that the Ministry of Justice has said it is not consulting on price competition for Crown Court advocacy, which reflects the sustained lobbying by the Bar Council that this would not be in the public interest. There are, however, swingeing fee cuts proposed, which will hit the criminal Bar exceptionally hard.
The Bar Council press release, which was issued this morning, can be found here.
We will keep you informed of our progress.

Maura McGowan QC
Chairman of the Bar