Legal aid cuts will not only bring injustice but also increased costs

Posted on 13th Jun 2013 in BabyBarista

babybarista-head_clerk

HeadClerk called an emergency Chambers Meeting yesterday. “I’m afraid that we need a bit of a shake-up of our practice structure.”

A general groan before OldSmoothie said, “Yes, yes. Time for us all to work harder and bring in a few more solicitors.”

“Quite the contrary,” said HeadClerk. “In the light of the government’s proposed cuts to legal aid I want everyone to make a conscious effort instead to start shedding solicitors…criminal ones that is.”

“But that makes up half of my practice,” said BusyBody.

“And that’s all the criminal law will be from now on in this chambers…” said HeadClerk, “…practise. A place to learn a bit of advocacy and then move on. If the government’s taking away the cash I’m not having my barristers wasting their time for less money than they could get doing a paper round. So from now on, criminal law is for pupils only.”

“But…what about the serious criminal matters?” said BusyBody.

“It’s all serious when it comes to someone’s liberty,” said TheVamp.

“And so is paying the rent on this expensive chambers,” said HeadClerk. “So if anyone wants to do charity work they can do it away from here. In the meantime, the pupils get the lot.”

The pupils looked horrified at the prospect of suddenly being thrown in at the deep end of the criminal law.

“You see, this is the problem,” said UpTights. “They’ll pay a pittance up front, think they’ve saved a few pounds and then find that suddenly appeals and compensation claims start exploding all over the place.”

“It’s always the same,” said OldSmoothie. “Whenever the government starts trying to reduce legal fees at the expense of justice, they just start a whole new line of appellate work.”

“They’d be better off getting their own house in order if they really want to save costs,” said BusyBody. “The amount of adjournments I’ve seen which could easily have been avoided with better organisation is ridiculous.”

“In the meantime,” said HeadClerk, “I think we’d better get our pupils access to the ICLR Online since I fear they’ll be needing more than the Highway Code this year.”

“Well at least the ICLR Online is one constant we can rely on,” said OldRuin, “even when the rest of the legal world is in complete turmoil.”