Family law specialists unimpressed by legal aid reform plans

Family lawyer representatives have rejected revised reform proposals for legal aid for the sector, issued yesterday, claiming they will reduce access to help for children and families.

Resolution, which represents family law practitioners, said the revised plans, produced by the Legal Services Commission, did not address the key criticism of the original proposals – that they would make legal aid practice uneconomic for firms.

The group’s chair, Andrew Greensmith, said: “Far from safeguarding access for the vulnerable to high-quality legal advice, these new fees are likely to mean that the hunt in many parts of the country for a legal aid family specialist becomes as difficult as finding an NHS.”

The plans would involve replace hourly rates for care, contact and residence cases with fixed weeks based on the level of representation and advice provided.

The government argued that the revised plans, which would come into force in October, would increase income for 60 per cent of firms in both care and private law cases.

Related articles:

Lawyers balk at latest reform plan 

Rethink on legal aid rate change



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