Independent social workers who were facing a fee cap have had a reprieve after the High Court last week found that the consultation was unlawful.
Under the Legal Services Commission’s proposals to restructure legal aid, fees would have been capped at £30 an hour outside London and £33 in London.
But the High Court said the changes would have hindered access to justice for vulnerable children and their families.
In a statement, the commission said it was considering the detail of the judgement and its implications, including whether to appeal, and could not make any further statements on the impact on ISWs.
The Law Society, which launched a judicial review that led to last week’s hearing, said the number of offices offering subsidised help with family cases would have been slashed from 2,400 to 1,300.
“That would have translated into thousands of people facing grave difficulty in obtaining justice – ordinary people who are already facing extraordinary difficulties,” Law Society president Linda Lee said. “Legal aid clients are some of the most vulnerable in society and access to legal representation where required is their only hope of achieving justice.”
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