Helping vulnerable clients cost-effectively12 November 2010
Delivery of legal aid services needs to command respect says LSC chair Sir Bill Callaghan at LAG conference on social welfare law
Valuable legal aid work to protect the vulnerable has to be married to sound economics, said LSC chair Sir Bill Callaghan in a speech to a Legal Action Group (LAG) conference.
Sir Bill was speaking at a conference to discuss the future of social welfare law services.
He said: "I want to see services delivered in a way that commands respect from taxpayers, clients and stakeholders.”
Sir Bill emphasised his “strong personal commitment to protect the vulnerable” but said he also had “a strong belief in sound economics”.
Legal aid fund
Pointing to tough times ahead Sir Bill said:“The legal aid fund is facing a reduction of £350m over the next four years.
“That sum is still subject to consultation but it is a significant amount."
Sir Bill said it was critical that we “make sensible and efficient use of the money we have now and will have in the future”.
He also pointed out that even with the reduction in funding the legal aid system in England and Wales would remain one of the best funded schemes in the world.
Sir Bill said it was for Government to decide on spending priorities, legal aid scope and the LSC’s policy direction.
And he looked forward to publication of the Government’s fundamental policy assessment.
When that happens Sir Bill said all stakeholders and partners would need to work together in the interests of the client.
He said: “I firmly believe it is only by putting the client first that we can all help one another find our feet in the new legal landscape.”
Last updated: 12 November 2010