The Criminal Team at 9 St John Street have unanimously decided that they will not accept instructions in a criminal case where the Representation Order is dated from 1st July. In addition the decision has been made that the criminal practitioners will not accept a returned defence brief which is funded through Legal Aid.
These decisions have been taken to support those solicitors currently taking direct action in respect of the 8.75% cut recently imposed. The Criminal Team previously participated in the CBA led policy of "no returns" when the Government had proposed cuts to the Advocacy Graduated Fee Scheme. During that time members of the team were grateful for the support shown by our instructing solicitors. We hope that the action taken by the solicitors will be successful and that the stance taken by each individual practitioner in these chambers will assist.
Solicitors have already suffered significant cuts and there is a real fear that such cuts will undermine the effective administration of justice through the provision of high quality representation.
The decisions are personal ones taken by each member of the Criminal Team.