LSC chief exec: contracting shift is not to blame for agency closures

The chief executive of the Legal Services Commission (LSC) has hit out at claims made in The Lawyer by the head of the London Legal Support Trust (LLST).

Bob Nightingale

Bob Nightingale

Last month (25 May) LLST chief executive Bob Nightingale told The Lawyer that, due to a change in LSC contracting arrangements, fewer cases are being ­handled, while cashflow has become a major issue for legal advice centres, adding that the centre in Lewisham had been forced to close.

Admitting that a number of agencies have experienced difficulties, LSC chief executive Carolyn Regan refuted the claim that the LSC could be held partly responsible.

“We’re aware that a small number of agencies have experienced difficulty despite the transitional arrangements introduced ­specifically for the not-for-profit sector,” she said. “The LSC has worked to support struggling agencies and to prevent any unnecessary closures.

“Mr Nightingale partly blames the Lewisham ­closure on our contracting arrangements, but the centre acknowledged its difficulties predated the fixed fees and were not down to the LSC.”