10th May 2013

Cartwright King states its case for intelligent legal aid reforms

Cartwright King solicitors, one of the top 5 criminal legal aid firms in the country, has responded angrily to a Law Society Gazette article on the 6th May 2013 about the resistance of and concerns by the largest criminal firms to the latest Ministry of Justice’s proposals for price competitive tendering for criminal defence services.

The report incorrectly stated that Cartwright King “will bid if the scheme goes ahead.” The firm’s chairman Michael Thurston says that this is not true.

“Cartwright King has been misreported in the Gazette and I wish to make our position quite clear. We have consistently argued that these proposals, which include removing the rights of those accused of a criminal act from having a legal aid solicitor of their choice, are uncompetitive and unworkable and are likely to cause the destruction of the current high standards of representation in our criminal justice system, leaving clients with no choice of representation and a very poor quality of service. The proposals will inevitably lead to a very high risk of many miscarriages of justice.

I wish to repeat that we will not bid for a contract under the current proposals. We do hope that good sense will prevail and the Ministry of Justice will adopt intelligent and workable applications and ideas to achieve proper and effective savings within the whole criminal justice system and that our quality criminal defence service will be preserved.”

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