In brief: LAB defends block contract scheme

The Legal Aid Board has been attempting to reassure the critics about its pilot green form block contract scheme. The move follows Law Society concerns over aspects of the first phase of the project involving 145 franchised firms around the country. The society's president, Tony Girling, has said that the project could “introduce competitive tendering by the back door”. But the board has replied: “We have made it clear that offices in the experimental groups are not in any sort of competition, either within or between the groups.”