Ministry of Justice

Legal aid: funding reforms

Reference Number : CP18/09

Status: Closed - with response

Open date: 20 August 2009

Close date: 12 November 2009

Responses published: 16 December 2009

A consultation seeking views on proposals to reform the fees paid to litigators and advocates in publicly-funded criminal cases and measures to reduce spending on experts' fees in all legal aid cases.

Consultation paper

Letter to Law Society

A letter to the Law Society provides further clarification on some of the terms used in the consultation.

Response: payments to solicitors and barristers for criminal legal aid work

Excluding the responses that concerned experts' fees only, we received over 300 responses, mainly from solicitors and barristers undertaking publicly-funded criminal defence work. Most of the respondents opposed the proposal to reduce payments for criminal defence work.

Response: experts' fees

We received 270 responses to the part of the consultation paper on experts’ fees. The majority of respondents considered that the proposed hourly rates set out in the consultation paper were too low. We intend to undertake additional analysis and work closely with stakeholders to help inform future policy on this complex area.

Analysis of expert witness fees

We are now conducting further analysis of expert witness fees paid in legal aid work. If you are a legal aid provider and can provide us with recently closed case files to help with this project, please see the letter below for more information.