06th March 2013
Cartwright King responds to further proposed measures to reduce Legal Aid spend
The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Chris Grayling has today announced a raft of measures in a bid to reduce the amount spent on legal aid in criminal defence cases.
Criminal defence currently represents the largest legal aid spend — over a billion pounds a year. Specialist legal firm Cartwright King understands the need to control public expenditure in relation to spending on criminal proceedings, but as a firm whose services include criminal defence, is keen to ensure that people’s rights to a defence are still protected.
Measures being proposed include changing the Crown Court means testing scheme so that defendants contribute to their defence costs, and competitive tendering for legal firms, with the timetable for this being stepped up.
“As the sixth largest supplier of criminal legal aid in the country, we had anticipated changes to the system and already invested heavily in the appropriate technology in order to comply with the new era in digital working and the move to a digital criminal justice system.”
said Rupert Hawke, Managing Director at Cartwright King.
“This means we have already embraced the changes and are geared up to this way of working. We look forward to working with the Ministry of Justice on the consultation process to bring forward workable arrangements that will still protect the most vulnerable when subject to the criminal justice system.”