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Criminal courts across England and Wales will be disrupted for half a day next month when thousands of solicitors join barristers in a mass walkout over government plans to cut legal aid fees by up to 30%.
The current system for regulating the legal profession "has to change", according to new justice minister Shailesh Vara in his first interview since taking office.
The Criminal Bar Association (CBA) has announced a morning of 'non-attendance' on the first day of the new court term next year in a major escalation of its opposition to the government's legal aid cuts.
Estimates suggest the cuts may reduce the 1,600 criminal legal aid firms to a rump of just 300.
The significance of this sea change in approach to civil litigation cannot be overestimated. The risk is that this will lead to a form of CPR trench warfare.
A solicitor, Ranbir Dhaliwal, was convicted of fraud after persuading two severely disabled siblings to "sign away" the rights to their home and has been jailed.
Criminality within the solicitors' profession has reached the level where the Russian mafia have become involved.
The Crown Prosecution Service said Crickmore abused his position to systematically steal from and defraud his clients. He usually targeted elderly or infirm clients living in nursing homes or stole from the estates of deceased clients whose wills he had drawn up.
Dispensing justice will become 'impossible' if the 'erosion' of the Criminal Bar continues, a Crown court judge warned at the end of a multi-million-pound drugs and firearms trial. His Honour Judge Woolman said the 'continuing erosion' of the Criminal Bar caused by the government's funding cuts is a matter which 'acutely concerns all criminal judges'.
A former Conservative MP and practising barrister has said he is certain the planned headline criminal legal aid fee cuts will go ahead unaltered, and will this week launch a ‘virtual chambers’ in anticipation.
Midlands Fraud Forum Ltd. Reg.No: 06436330 Copyright © March 2014