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Law jobs ‘will go’ if legal aid cut

Law jobs ‘will go’ if legal aid cut

Hundreds of lawyers face redundancy amid plans to reduce the number of firms which offer legal aid.

Around 2,400 law companies offer social, welfare and family legal aid, but plans are afoot by the Legal Services Commission (LSC) to slash this number to 1,300.

Resolution, an association representing family lawyers, said the job losses could number up to 542. It arrived at that figure after surveying more than 500 firms applying for legal aid provision.

Chairman of Resolution, David Allison, said: "Our survey of 561 firms has shown us that 40 per cent were wholly unsuccessful in their recent bids to provide family legal aid and 15 per cent were partially successful.

"These firms have told us that redundancies of up to 542 are expected – and these figures are likely to rise as we hear from other firms who have been affected."

Less than a fifth of firms (19 per cent) successfully tendering to provide legal aid said they would be recruiting, the survey also revealed.

The association has warned of "advice deserts" in areas where legal aid providers will not be able to satisfy demand.

Parts of Dorset, Cornwall, Bedfordshire and Lincolnshire are set to be worst hit, it said.

Mr Allison said: "Our survey has painted a very worrying picture for the future of legal aid provision in England and Wales."