In brief: Hoon names May as earliest reform date

Late May is the earliest possible date for the introduction of the Government's planned legal aid reforms, Geoff Hoon, the Parliamentary Secretary at the Lord Chancellor's Department, told the House of Commons last week. A consultation paper this week will propose: extending conditional fees to all disputes; the withdrawal of legal aid from most personal injury disputes; a stricter merits test for legal aid; and a public interest fund for test cases.