David Mason QC, head of No5 Chambers’ criminal group, has said that the government has suspended the introduction of proposed cuts to fees in the Crown Court and that he is deeply concerned about the persistent stance of reducing fees in respect of VHCC fees and litigators’ fees.
Mason said: ‘The efforts to fight the cause of fair remuneration for both branches of the profession will not relax because of this announcement. We are conscious that the continued attack upon the solicitors’ profession will lead ultimately to the demise of the bar as well as the legal profession as a whole.
‘The frustration that solicitors feel about the announcement is entirely understandable. I have made arrangements to meet James Turner of the Birmingham Law Society and further our practice director Tony McDaid is liaising with Nigel Lithman QC of CBA.
‘Both steps are demonstrative of the fact that we at No5 are committed to stand alongside the solicitors’ profession. Further, I am accessible to any solicitor who wishes to speak to me about the continued support chambers are to provide to solicitors.
‘Rest assured: we are aware that an announcement such as the one made [on 27 March] has all the ingredients of division. We shall not lose sight of the fact that a suspension of the reduction of fees is no resolution to the difficulties we face in the future.’