Criminal barristers have called off further direct action over legal aid reforms after more changes to the plans were revealed today.
Justice secretary Chris Grayling (pictured) has postponed the planned 6% cut to fees paid to advocates in Crown court cases under the Advocates Graduated Fee Scheme, which was due to be implemented this year.
Officially the cut has been suspended until at least summer 2015, after the next general election.
Grayling also announced changes affecting solicitors. He has agreed to make an additional £9m available to fund the introduction of interim payments this summer, a year earlier than planned.
Today’s changes follow further discussions between the Ministry of Justice, Law Society and Bar Council.
Chairman of the Criminal Law Solicitors’ Association, Bill Waddington, said: ‘Far from diminishing the support for Monday and Tuesday’s days of action, we think this latest move is bound to boost support and strengthen the resolve of solicitors to continue the fight.’
Waddington suggested the deal could prove to be something of an own-goal for the bar, with junior advocates hit as solicitor higher court advocates seek to increase their amount of Crown court work.
He added: ‘We were promised by the CBA that there would be no deal with the MoJ. That is something they felt they could not honour and we will note that for the future.’
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