Child care legal aid rate plans reconsidered

The government has agreed to reconsider plans to revise legal aid rates for child care cases after lawyers said the plans would herald cuts in the number of available solicitors.

Constitutional affairs minister Vera Baird has been given a rough ride by lawyers in meetings on the proposals, which are designed to control the legal aid bill.

The Association of Lawyers for Children said proposed rates for child care lawyers would halve solicitors’ incomes, sending many out of practice at a time when capacity was already in decline. The proposals have also been criticised by guardians’ body Nagalro

A Department for Constitutional Affairs spokesperson said that while the government would not compromise on the proposed overall bill for legal aid, it was inviting lawyers’ leaders to come up with different ways of dividing it up between types of case.




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