4 Sep 2012

High Court rejects legal aid fixed fees case

5:48 pm on 4 September 2012

The Criminal Bar Association is considering appealing against a High Court rejection of its case against fixed fees for legal aid lawyers.

Under the new regime which came into effect in March this year, lawyers are paid a set fee based on the seriousness of their client's offending, rather than being paid for the amount of work they do on the case.

At a hearing in May, the Criminal Bar Association sought to have the new payment scheme declared unlawful but the High Court disagreed, rejecting the challenge in full.

Association president Tony Bouchier says that is hugely disappointing and lawyers will meet later this week to look at any grounds for an appeal against the decision.

The Government says the decision clears the way for changes to the legal aid system to be implemented.