We are now in our second year of losing legal aid to fight clinical claims. The government is not seeking any additional funding to support the victims of gross NHS negligence which can result in severe disabilities. Our legal market demands lawyers specialize in different areas and this provides the best advice to the individual. Legal Aid existed to provide assistance to those in need of that specialist assistance. Whether is be for a clinical injury, or protecting an individuals liberty, should we have access to this specialist knowledge without going cap in hand to the top-echelon firms.
The Law Society has already criticised one measure being considered by the lord chancellor, which is a levy on top-echelon firms to replace the criminal court charge on defendants. Society president Jonathan Smithers described the concept as a ‘tax on success’. Today’s meeting follows months of discussion between the government and City of London Law Society after lord chancellor Michael Gove first suggested in June that more could be done by ‘the most successful in the legal profession to help protect justice for all’.He told the House of Commons at the time: ‘One thing that struck me is that there are people in senior solicitors’ firms and in our best chambers who are not doing enough, given how well they have done out of the legal system, to support the very poorest – they need to do more.'