Back in the day, I used to occasionally nominate a Legal Aid Hero. From recollection they included Tim Thomas, Mukul Chawla QC and Hannah Evans. I resurrect the award. So today’s Legal Aid Hero is Dan Travers from Exchange in Liverpool. He has not just moaned in the robing room. He has not just whined on Twitter. He organised a meeting that took place this morning in the Robing Room in Liverpool. Here is the note of that meeting. Food for thought for those that say there is no appetite for the fight. And further fuel for the argument that the CBA Exec should not decide this one, we all should.
LIVERPOOL CROWN COURT ROBING ROOM
MEETING 24th JUNE 2015
Many thanks to everyone who attended this meeting, and many more who contacted me offering their support. This is my view of the meeting.
Over 100 barristers and solicitors met this morning to discuss the future of our profession. Every Chambers in the city, and the majority of solicitors were represented. The room was unanimous that immediate action must be taken to prevent the introduction of 8.75% cuts to the litigators’ fees. The proposed action is that solicitors do not do their own work under the new rates. That would mean that solicitors would not attend police stations, or represent defendants in the Magistrates Courts, or apply for legal aid for any new case from the 1st July. That would mean that there are no new cases coming to the Crown Court with legal aid. It was further proposed that the bar would re-introduce the No returns policy for all existing cases in the Crown Court from Wednesday the 1st July.
We hope the Lord Chancellor will re-consider implementing these cuts. If he is in any doubt as to how strongly we feel about this action he should attend one of the many meetings that will be taking place over the coming days.
There are meetings in Liverpool and Manchester at 4pm on Monday the 29th June.