Legal Aid Duty Contracts

the law society

Dear Colleagues,

Following widespread speculation that the two tier criminal duty tender process will be abandoned by government, the Law Society has called on the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) and the Ministry of Justice (MoJ)  to issue an urgent public statement to provide certainty for all involved in the contract procurement process.

The LAA advised the Law Society that there had been no change of policy. However, the LAA said that ministers review policy on a regular basis. I have therefore written to the Minster to ask for urgent clarification of plans for the future of the legal aid duty service which offers advice to some of the most vulnerable clients.

The call for clarification comes two months after the Law Society urged the Justice Select Committee and the Public Accounts Committee to investigate the government’s procurement process for the new criminal legal aid contracts. The Society has been calling for an independent review of the legal aid duty contract procurement process following concerns that the evaluation process used by the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) was flawed.

You can see a copy of our press statement and our letter to the minister here:

 http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/news/stories/legal-aid-duty-contract-law-society-calls-for-clarity-as-a-matter-of-utmost-urgency/

I hope you will be able to share this update with your members.

Kind regards,

Jonathan Smithers
President

 

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