Thursday, April 05, 2007

Pyrrhic victory?

Not much, according to the LSCOn a more serious note, the Gazette also reports the disappointing but not surprising news that 94% of legal aid firms have signed the new civil contract. The Legal Services Commission will no doubt see this as a victory, even if they don't say so, but I'm not so sure. Most legal aid firms could not possibly have restructured their businesses to do without legal aid work in the short time available. My view is that many of those firms that signed will now be starting such a restructuring process, with a view to giving up legal aid work as soon as it is viable to do so. Will the LSC still think this is a victory in a couple of years time?

2 comments:

  1. Sadly, the LSC has been pretty clear that they aim to lose a fair number of firms, preferably small specialist ones.

    However, I suspect that the shedding of legal aid contracts that you forsee will mostly be from larger firms who already have mixed business and can change direction. These are the firms that the LSC wants to bid for preferred supplier status.

    So, no, it won't be a victory. It remians lilely to be a disaster.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, for many years the true agenda has been to reduce the number of firms doing legal aid work by making it more onerous and less profitable, with a complete disregard for those in need, who have to travel further, wait longer and have less choice. The real disaster, of course, will come when there are no longer any oases in the advice deserts, with larger firms giving up legal aid and smaller firms going to the wall.

    By the way, congratulations on getting your training contract. I hope you are able to put up with the paperwork and other frustrations of doing legal aid work (for as long as it lasts).

    ReplyDelete

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