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The Law Society president Jonathan Smithers has written to the justice minister in response to comments from the Bar Council and the Family Law Bar Association. He said:
'We are at a loss to understand why the Bar is accusing family solicitor advocates of providing a poor level of service. We can only assume that this reflects the Bar Council and FLBA's self-interest to increase barristers' market share, as a result of falling levels of work following civil legal aid changes.'
'The reality is that those in need of advice often prefer solicitor advocates to barristers. Solicitor advocates provide consistency and can be relied on to know their client's case inside out from the start through to representation in court.'
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Legislation under scrutiny following Law Society evidence
The House of Lords Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee has published follow-up reports on the government's criminal legal aid regulations, after receiving responses from the justice minister Shailesh Vara. The Lords considered a number of concerns raised by the Law Society. The committee remains dissatisfied with the responses, and peers have also requested a debate on the regulations.
Motion of regret tabled over legal aid cuts
Lord Beecham has tabled a motion of regret over the the government's criminal legal aid regulations. The motion highlights that they were introduced:
The motion also regrets the government's lack of engagement with the profession and those affected by its reforms. The debate is likely to take place after the summer recess.
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