London, 2nd December 2011: Responding to the Government’s announcement that legal aid reforms are to be postponed from October 2012 to April 2013, Senior Partner Edgar Venal said:
"We are dismayed at yesterday's announcement, and are appalled that Ministers have listened to the very self-serving concerns expressed by family lawyers who are only interested in preserving their legal aid income. At the same time, it is important to remember that this is only a delay in implementation, rather than a significant policy change, so it's not as bad as some mistakenly think.
"Nevertheless, we hope that the Government will take this opportunity to think again about the Legal Aid Bill. We have said from the start of the process that the proposed reforms will have a detrimental impact on access to justice for the most affluent people in society, by clogging up the courts with more of those awful unwashed litigants in person (who should be refused access to justice at all), and will not go far enough to reduce the burden on honest taxpayers like ourselves (well, we would pay tax if we weren't able to avoid it).
"We know that around 90% of divorce cases are resolved outside the courtroom. We will continue to work to reduce this figure, but this can only happen with the support of well-paid legal professionals.
"We are therefore looking forward to working with Ministers to ensure that there are more people having to pay their lawyers, by taking legal aid away from families who just sponge on the state."
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Legal aid reforms postponed: Resolution statement, 1st December 2011