Leader: Why legal aid cuts should worry the City too. PR campaigning was not enough

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  • Hear, hear! I have nothing to do with legal aid work but believe all lawyers should support access to justice and the retention of the mechanisms of justice. This is far from simply a self-interest issue. Let's all stand up and be counted before our justice system is eroded further, either through legislation or the long-term impact of fewer and fewer good lawyers doing this kind of work - the work I wasn't prepared to do because it was never sufficiently well-paid, even 25 years ago when I started out.

    Perhaps one government one day will reduce costs further by abolishing the right to a trial altogther, so saving all the costs involved.

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  • I am a 'high street' HCA who was junior counsel on one of the biggest murder cases in recent years. It was a choice of mine to service the community when I had the grades to have a shot at a 'City' training contract. It is unfortunate that the government get hold of old fat cat figures and disregard the year when Camerons' brother was one of those fat felines. Likewise the government take market distorting figures often from West End/City Firms that only do VHCC work and bill cases to the 'nth degree. The true economic irony of the whole situation is that as the plug is being pulled on Legal Aid, the government pours resources into market regulation, the FCA, and the SFO in the wake of the financial collapse of 2009 - City firms are on a market drive to recruit 'Criminal' solicitors - of course NOT FROM THE HIGH STREET but from the CITY. My contribution to the discussion is this - it is utterly patronizing and insulting that the City see themselves as so far removed from the problem so as to want to take the position of an observer watching from the sidelines. Like it or not the CITY has both benefited from the shift in the government budget focus and contributed to the notion of the 'fat cat'.

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