Monday Message 16.03.20
THE LEGAL AID REVIEW STILL GOES ON REGARDLESS
This section of the consultation on accelerated asks, closes on the 27th March 2020.
We regret to inform you that the following MOJ meetings have been cancelled:
Birmingham, 16th March 2020
Newcastle, 18th March 2020
IF YOU FIND YOURSELF UNABLE TO ATTEND OR IF FURTHER MEETINGS ARE CANCELLED, your voice can still and must be heard. It is vital that you provide as much information as you can.
In so far as the accelerated asks are concerned you can do a number of things:
- You can write individually or as a Chambers via your practice group expressing your views as to the accelerated asks. It is preferable to have individual replies as this adds to the number and therefore quite literally the weight of replies. You may wish to read in any event the content of the MOJ survey, the link is below as it provides a useful structure.
- Alternatively you can please to fill in the MOJ survey. Every accelerated ask has a section and the document is very informative as to what this stage of the review means and of course it is your opportunity to not only have your say but influence the outcome.
WHICH EVER METHOD YOU CHOOSE PLEASE RESPOND: The Treasury needs to see we have
The remaining meetings are still pencilled in:
MANCHESTER, Monday 23rd March – Lincoln House Chambers
Video-links available to Preston: and Liverpool – 7 Harrington Street Chambers.
LONDON, Wednesday 26th March – 23 Essex Street Chambers, London
There will a number of bulletins coming from the CBA in the next few days regarding the wider CLAR and how we are going to approach it and of course the payment of fees.
I am pleased to report that I have just had an extremely productive and positive discussion with Rebecca Lawrence, Chief Executive of the CPS. As an organisation, the CPS is cognisant of the problems that the Bar will face. With that in mind we are setting up a Fees working group. This will include Chris Sharp, CPS Finance Director, Keith Milburn, Business Manager and a team from CBA, together with the Bar Council. We will be discussing how the fees can be processed in a timely way so that cash flow is maintained. Both CBA, Bar Council and CPS want to make this work.
In addition ,we will need to look at forward planning, so that the courts can cover the cases that inevitably will have to be tried in the future; this will include sufficient staff for the courts, court rooms and members of the Bar being able to cover the cases. There is much to be done but this was very much from the CPS; a “we can do” attitude.
Again, we will keep you updated on this and shall inform you of what can be done.
I am hoping that in due course I will be able to report back with positive news. These meetings are again underway.
As I have said updates will be coming through, but I wanted to give some practitioners peace of mind as far as activity on the fees front was concerned.
FILM OF THE WEEK:
Caroline Goodwin QC