Application was made at Southwark Crown Court to stay the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA’s) prosecution of five defendants in a massive land deal fraud. Alexander Cameron QC from Three Raymond Buildings appeared pro bono for the five unrepresented defendants.
As a result of the 30 per cent cuts to the VHCC legal aid fees, no independent barristers were prepared to act and the Public Defender Service, which was created to plug the gap, was not set up in time to cater for this type of multi-handed trial.
The defendants were thereby involuntarily unrepresented at the date of their trial. The prosecution contended that the case should be adjourned.