Tim Thomas also had this to add to commentary on Operation Cotton

“The Wall Street Journal and LAA statistics

Gratifying as it was that the Wall Street Journal chose to publish an article about the Operation Cotton ruling there are a number of statements in it that were incorrect. Firstly to describe VHCCs as consuming a ‘large chunk of the MOJ’s’ annual £2bn Legal Aid Budget’ is nonsense. If one examines the Legal Aid Agency statistics for 2012/2013 (the most up to date there are) at p9 figures show that VHCCs cost £67.6m in 2012-13, having fallen 26% from the year before. Even at the height of 2007/8 they were only costing £124m and that was largely down to the fact that many more cases were contracted (until 2011/12 cases had to have a minimum of a 40 day trial estimate, after that it was 60 days -thus less cases are now being contracted- which explains the fall in cost). Thus the MoJ’s suggestion that the 30% cut will save tens of millions of £s is rubbish. The 30% cut on £67.6m saves them £19m. The Government found £200m for pot hole repair in the March 2014 budget but is prepared to undermine the prosecution of Serious Fraud cases; letting down alleged victims and defendants, as well damaging the limited credibility of the FCA ; for a saving of £19m….”

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