Law Soc to stand firm on Green Form boycott

THE Law Society looks set to renew its call for law firms to boycott the Legal Aid Board's green form block contract pilot, when it reviews the decision at Thursday's council meeting.

Since the Law Society announced the boycott in April, protracted negotiations have been taking place between the LAB and the society over the pilot. The society claims the pilot will leave firms out of pocket because of its “complicated and elaborate administrative systems”.

Derek Sands, chair of the Law Society's courts and legal services committee, said he anticipated the boycott would continue. “We have had meetings with firms in all the pilot areas now and the consensus is that they are not satisfied with what the board is doing.”

But an LAB spokesman said he would be “surprised” if non-participation continued and that negotiations with firms and the Law Society were “going well”.

One sticking point, according to LAPG vice-chair Richard Miller, is the LAB's intention to to use 'model clients' in the pilot, whereby actors would pose as legal aid clients.

LAB policy adviser Allison McGarrity said: “We are still discussing the precise details of this and it would not affect every participating firm.”