DEFENCE CUTS

Defence cuts have seen the army legal team cut in size but it continues to bear up well to the squeeze.

Army Legal Services (ALS) now has 53 lawyers. Before Options for Change – the services' fundamental review – swung into action, the number was 58.

But the aim of the cuts is to shave the army's hierachical pyramid from the side allowing recruitment to continue.

“We have suffered our fair share of redundancies. Two last year, two this year and possibly one next year,” says Lt Col Stephen Vowles.

“We have reduced in size in the same way as the rest of the army, but have probably fared better than other sections because there is an increasing demand for legal services,” he adds.

A lawyer joins the army as a captain but wears the badges of a lieutenant in the first year to ease the transition into service life. The officers can work their way upwards – ultimately to the rank of Major General. Current director of ALS is Major General Tony Rogers OBE.

Barristers and solicitors are represented in about equal number with no distinction drawn between their roles.