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Episode One – Strike Action

Kirsty Brimelow KC, Chair of the Criminal Bar Association, talks to Laurie-Anne Power KC, former Treasurer of the Criminal Bar Association, about the historical industrial action taken by criminal barristers in 2022 where members of the criminal bar stopped attending court in a dispute with government over its slashing of legal aid pay for barristers and refusal to increase fees on existing cases. Kirsty and Laurie-Anne discussed how barristers acted to prevent the complete collapse of the criminal justice system.

Kirsty became Chair at the height of the barristers’ action and led the action whilst opening negotiations with former Secretary of State for Justice Brandon Lewis MP in September 2022.

These negotiations resulted in a significant move from government in an offer which was put to ballot of Criminal Bar Association members. Members voted to accept the legal aid increase offered by the government.

Kirsty speaks about her dedication to the Criminal Bar, ongoing work to rebuild the criminal justice system, keeping pressure on the Ministry of Justice for long-term reform and, ultimately, why criminal barristers matter. She also busts a few myths along the way.