Many stories this week about Family lawyers & the fee proposals. See my earlier post on the fee changes for links to the key documents & Lucy's latest rant .
The Ministry of Justice has published the Responses to Reforming the Legal Aid Family Barrister Fee Scheme (pdf file) and seem surprised that only 4 individual barristers responded to this last consultation round. When one sees how much notice they have taken of the answers is it any wonder and is there much point in responding to the latest proposals? If you want to anyway (it might make you feel better) do so here but hurry: closing date is 18th March 2009.
The Law Society Gazette covers the FLBA earnings survey.
Frances Gibb in the Times covers both the research & the Bar's reaction to the fee cuts. Willy Bach, the Justice Minister, says the Bar receives £50 an hour for hearings. If he means under the new proposals he is of course not factoring in the amount of preparation.
Jack Straw himself in the Times has a go at the top earning legal aid lawyers and warns that those dependant on public funding will have to reconsider their expectations. Much is made of the rise in the number of lawyers - now at 1 in 400. What he does not say is that this does not mean that they are all dependent on public funding. Nor does this really make any sense as a concern re family lawyers. Does he think that the local authorities are bringing care cases just for the sake of keeping family lawyers in business? See Lucy's comments .
In the Evening Standard story the FLBA make the link to the risk to children & Baby P. Slightly tricky link as, of course, one of the problems with Baby P is that the case never got into court.
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