Hundreds of lawyers will demonstrate outside Parliament today in protest at alleged mis-management of legal aid lawyers by the Legal Services Commission and the Department of Constitutional Affairs.
Legal aid lawyers claim their action has been sparked by a disregard for the facts by both organisations, unwillingness to listen and determination to impose measures which will irreparably harm the system.
They claim it will result in a loss of access to justice, a fundamental right, to the most vulnerable people in society.
Roger Peach, chairman of the Criminal Defence Solicitors Union said: “The Government intends to drive hundreds of legal aid firms out of business.
“This monopoly purchaser is performing an experiment without precedent in contracting a public service, which will create advice deserts and leave tens of thousands of people unable to access justice.”
Greg Powell, president of the London Criminal Courts Solicitors Association, added: “If there is any part of Government unfit for purpose, it is the Legal Services Commission.
“They have lost the confidence and trust of legal aid suppliers as well as their grip on reality.”
He said demonstrators were at a loss to know how to make the Government listen.