Case of the week

Although three High Court judges rejected a challenge against the Lord Chancellor's shake-up of the legal aid system, they warned that the legal aid contracting system could face future defeat in the courts if not reformed. In a challenge to the legal aid contracting scheme – brought by solicitors Mackintosh Duncan and backed by the Law Society – the court refused to quash the scheme introduced in January, but said there were 'significant weaknesses' in it. The court said 'real hardship is likely to continue to be suffered unless the board acts decisively' and warned that a similar case may succeed when the Human Rights Act is introduced in October.