Pilot could flop, warns LAPG

The vice-chair of the Legal Aid Practitioners Group (LAPG) has predicted that so many firms will pull out of the green form block contract pilot that it will not be able to go ahead, despite the lifting of the Law Society “boycott”.

The Law Society's ruling council voted earlier this month to advise its members to take part in the pilot only if their participating costs would be covered. But LAPG vice-chair Richard Miller said the group was advising firms to remember they still had the right to refuse if they did not want to take part in the pilot.

Miller said he had “doubts” about whether or not there would be “enough firms on board” for the pilot to go ahead. He added that the LAPG was concerned there was still “no acknowledgement” of the cost to firms of monitoring the scheme.

The pilot is due to begin on 1 August, four months later than originally planned. Some contracts between the LAB and law firms are still being negotiated but firms have until 1 September, after which they will be ineligible for the pilot.

Training sessions on the administrative requirements of the scheme have now been completed by 250 solicitors, said an LAB spokesman.