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Chris Grayling to rethink legal aid proposal

Chris Grayling to rethink legal aid proposal

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has revealed that he expects to make alterations to a proposal to remove the client’s right to choose a solicitor when receiving criminal legal aid.

This aspect of his legal aid reforms has received heavy criticism, with solicitors and barristers claiming it could destroy the “world-renowned” justice system in England and Wales. The move would see lawyers compete for contracts, but after consulting with The Law Society, which represents some 130,000 solicitors across the two countries, Mr Grayling said he would look again at the issue. He hoped the change would give greater certainty of case volume for providers, making it easier and more predictable for them to organise their businesses to provide the most cost-effective service to the taxpayer.

But in a letter to Sir Alan Beith, chair of the Justice Select Committee, he now expects to allow a choice of solicitor for clients receiving criminal legal aid.

“The Justice Secretary is finally starting to realise just how ill-conceived these proposals are,” commented Kat Craig, legal director at human rights group Reprieve.

We have one of the leading teams of criminal law specialists in West London and the South East. If you are facing a serious criminal charge, you can contact a member of the IBB’s Criminal Defence team, call us on 08456 381 381 or email criminaldefence@ibblaw.co.uk.