One day strike by lawyers disrupts Bradford courts

Bradford Crown Court

Bradford Crown Court

First published in News
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Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Crime Reporter

Courts in Bradford have been disrupted today as lawyers stage a one-day strike in protest at Government proposals to cut legal aid fees.

Some cases at both the crown and magistrates court have failed to go ahead because defendants were unrepresented due to the industrial action by barristers, supported by solicitors.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling is cutting fees for barristers and solicitors in a bid to slash £220 million from the legal aid budget.

The Ministry of Justice said it had no choice but to significantly reduce the money it spends, and said the plans represented an average two per cent reduction for lower paid barristers.

But the Criminal Bar Association claims the cuts would dismantle the criminal justice system and the public would not get true justice, with many lawyers being forced out of the profession.

Dozens of criminal barristers at the Broadway House chambers in Bradford joined thousands of colleagues across the country in the day of action, which meant they did not attend crown court.

Michelle Colborne QC, head of chambers at Broadway House, said: “This is not a decision taken lightly. We are all deeply saddened by the position we are in."

Comments (18)

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1:52pm Fri 7 Mar 14

The Hoffster says...

But the Criminal Bar Association claims the cuts would dismantle the criminal justice system and the public would not get true justice...


Yes, I'm sure you really care about justice for victims.

This is all about your fat-cat wages and how they're going to be reduced. Live with it.
[quote]But the Criminal Bar Association claims the cuts would dismantle the criminal justice system and the public would not get true justice... [/quote] Yes, I'm sure you really care about justice for victims. This is all about your fat-cat wages and how they're going to be reduced. Live with it. The Hoffster
  • Score: -2

2:07pm Fri 7 Mar 14

bd7 helper says...

Just sentence all the criminals the lawyers are just going to start lying!!!!
Stop lyinnnng and move on
Just sentence all the criminals the lawyers are just going to start lying!!!! Stop lyinnnng and move on bd7 helper
  • Score: 2

2:13pm Fri 7 Mar 14

JAtkinson says...

New proposals include a "flat fee" for representation, meaning that lawyers will get the same amount of money whether the defendant pleads guilty at the earliest opportunity or goes on to a complicated and lengthy trial... so some could pressure defendants into pleading guilty.

As we have with education, and are getting with health, the two or three tiered system of law will soon be enshrined. You can have all the defence (education; health cover) you can afford and if you can't afford it, you get screwed over. This is Tory Britain.
New proposals include a "flat fee" for representation, meaning that lawyers will get the same amount of money whether the defendant pleads guilty at the earliest opportunity or goes on to a complicated and lengthy trial... so some could pressure defendants into pleading guilty. As we have with education, and are getting with health, the two or three tiered system of law will soon be enshrined. You can have all the defence (education; health cover) you can afford and if you can't afford it, you get screwed over. This is Tory Britain. JAtkinson
  • Score: -1

2:21pm Fri 7 Mar 14

Bantambhoy says...

I notice there are no comments allowed on the story about the veils!!
I notice there are no comments allowed on the story about the veils!! Bantambhoy
  • Score: -1

2:43pm Fri 7 Mar 14

allannicho says...

Similar would happen Countrywide outside Motor Dealers if the "Mobility Scheme" was scrapped.
Similar would happen Countrywide outside Motor Dealers if the "Mobility Scheme" was scrapped. allannicho
  • Score: 3

2:49pm Fri 7 Mar 14

allannicho says...

Headlines like this in todays Daily Express ;-
REVEALED: Britain's £100,000 bill for custody battle over migrant boy
marvellous Innit?
Headlines like this in todays Daily Express ;- REVEALED: Britain's £100,000 bill for custody battle over migrant boy marvellous Innit? allannicho
  • Score: 2

3:00pm Fri 7 Mar 14

BierleyBoy says...

JAtkinson wrote:
New proposals include a "flat fee" for representation, meaning that lawyers will get the same amount of money whether the defendant pleads guilty at the earliest opportunity or goes on to a complicated and lengthy trial... so some could pressure defendants into pleading guilty.

As we have with education, and are getting with health, the two or three tiered system of law will soon be enshrined. You can have all the defence (education; health cover) you can afford and if you can't afford it, you get screwed over. This is Tory Britain.
And of course a legal team would never act out of self interest and stretch out a case to keep the fees coming in would they?

having a flat fee will make lawyers persuade innocent defendants to plead guilty? Absolute rubbish.

Tke legal system always has been in favour of those who can afford the best lawyers.

Tory Britain? oh dear, how stupid you are making yourself look on this one.
[quote][p][bold]JAtkinson[/bold] wrote: New proposals include a "flat fee" for representation, meaning that lawyers will get the same amount of money whether the defendant pleads guilty at the earliest opportunity or goes on to a complicated and lengthy trial... so some could pressure defendants into pleading guilty. As we have with education, and are getting with health, the two or three tiered system of law will soon be enshrined. You can have all the defence (education; health cover) you can afford and if you can't afford it, you get screwed over. This is Tory Britain.[/p][/quote]And of course a legal team would never act out of self interest and stretch out a case to keep the fees coming in would they? having a flat fee will make lawyers persuade innocent defendants to plead guilty? Absolute rubbish. Tke legal system always has been in favour of those who can afford the best lawyers. Tory Britain? oh dear, how stupid you are making yourself look on this one. BierleyBoy
  • Score: -1

3:12pm Fri 7 Mar 14

mad matt says...

The amount that lawyers charge for any work is absolutely disgusting. OK, they have to study to become lawyers but that doesn't give them the right to fleece honest innocent people.
Try getting any other work done by a lawyer of any sort, be it conveyancing work or just drawing up a simple will and you'll need a second mortgage just to pay the legal fees.
As for them drawing out cases so they can make more money - they've been getting away with that scam for years!
The amount that lawyers charge for any work is absolutely disgusting. OK, they have to study to become lawyers but that doesn't give them the right to fleece honest innocent people. Try getting any other work done by a lawyer of any sort, be it conveyancing work or just drawing up a simple will and you'll need a second mortgage just to pay the legal fees. As for them drawing out cases so they can make more money - they've been getting away with that scam for years! mad matt
  • Score: 6

3:34pm Fri 7 Mar 14

The Hoffster says...

Bantambhoy wrote:
I notice there are no comments allowed on the story about the veils!!
Are you a member of the vile BNP/EDL ?
[quote][p][bold]Bantambhoy[/bold] wrote: I notice there are no comments allowed on the story about the veils!![/p][/quote]Are you a member of the vile BNP/EDL ? The Hoffster
  • Score: -5

3:51pm Fri 7 Mar 14

Andy2010 says...

JAtkinson wrote:
New proposals include a "flat fee" for representation, meaning that lawyers will get the same amount of money whether the defendant pleads guilty at the earliest opportunity or goes on to a complicated and lengthy trial... so some could pressure defendants into pleading guilty.

As we have with education, and are getting with health, the two or three tiered system of law will soon be enshrined. You can have all the defence (education; health cover) you can afford and if you can't afford it, you get screwed over. This is Tory Britain.
Don't talk rubbish

This isn't about politics. Its about Lawyers trying to defend their troughs that is legal aid and the amount they can milk out of the system.

All the Government is doing is cutting back on the amount they can claim. The average criminal defence legal aid lawyer will still earn approx £350k a year...yeah tough for them isn't it.

You talk about this two tiered system but sorry this has been the case with health, education and law well...forever.

Obviously if you can afford to pay privately for whatever you will or should get a better service be that either in court or health. That's just plain common sense and has been the case since the dawn of time
[quote][p][bold]JAtkinson[/bold] wrote: New proposals include a "flat fee" for representation, meaning that lawyers will get the same amount of money whether the defendant pleads guilty at the earliest opportunity or goes on to a complicated and lengthy trial... so some could pressure defendants into pleading guilty. As we have with education, and are getting with health, the two or three tiered system of law will soon be enshrined. You can have all the defence (education; health cover) you can afford and if you can't afford it, you get screwed over. This is Tory Britain.[/p][/quote]Don't talk rubbish This isn't about politics. Its about Lawyers trying to defend their troughs that is legal aid and the amount they can milk out of the system. All the Government is doing is cutting back on the amount they can claim. The average criminal defence legal aid lawyer will still earn approx £350k a year...yeah tough for them isn't it. You talk about this two tiered system but sorry this has been the case with health, education and law well...forever. Obviously if you can afford to pay privately for whatever you will or should get a better service be that either in court or health. That's just plain common sense and has been the case since the dawn of time Andy2010
  • Score: 4

4:49pm Fri 7 Mar 14

Justice 1980 says...

I have studied for over 6 years to qualify as a criminal defence solicitor. Qualifying has put me thousands in debt and I now receive less than £30,000 per year working a 50 + hour week.

Most criminal defence solicitors would feel lucky to earn £30,000 per year. The "I know" brigade should get their facts right before claiming we earn £300k plus.

Believe it or not I am proud of my profession. I work hard to defend people and have prevented many miscarriages of justice by spending time and effort preparing a case. How can I now justify to my bosses spending hours on preparing a case that only pays £500 or so in the crown court?

Before someone says £500 is a lot of money that £500 has to pay my wages, admin staff wages, office costs and all the other bits and bats that are needed to run a business.

You may not care now but if you are falsely accused are you going to sell your car or house to pay for your defence?

I don't want to rant I am just sick of all the "fat cat" rubbish. I don't think £30k is a lot for someone who has bust their ar** for 6 years qualifying.

Thanks
I have studied for over 6 years to qualify as a criminal defence solicitor. Qualifying has put me thousands in debt and I now receive less than £30,000 per year working a 50 + hour week. Most criminal defence solicitors would feel lucky to earn £30,000 per year. The "I know" brigade should get their facts right before claiming we earn £300k plus. Believe it or not I am proud of my profession. I work hard to defend people and have prevented many miscarriages of justice by spending time and effort preparing a case. How can I now justify to my bosses spending hours on preparing a case that only pays £500 or so in the crown court? Before someone says £500 is a lot of money that £500 has to pay my wages, admin staff wages, office costs and all the other bits and bats that are needed to run a business. You may not care now but if you are falsely accused are you going to sell your car or house to pay for your defence? I don't want to rant I am just sick of all the "fat cat" rubbish. I don't think £30k is a lot for someone who has bust their ar** for 6 years qualifying. Thanks Justice 1980
  • Score: 1

5:08pm Fri 7 Mar 14

Andy2010 says...

Justice 1980 wrote:
I have studied for over 6 years to qualify as a criminal defence solicitor. Qualifying has put me thousands in debt and I now receive less than £30,000 per year working a 50 + hour week.

Most criminal defence solicitors would feel lucky to earn £30,000 per year. The "I know" brigade should get their facts right before claiming we earn £300k plus.

Believe it or not I am proud of my profession. I work hard to defend people and have prevented many miscarriages of justice by spending time and effort preparing a case. How can I now justify to my bosses spending hours on preparing a case that only pays £500 or so in the crown court?

Before someone says £500 is a lot of money that £500 has to pay my wages, admin staff wages, office costs and all the other bits and bats that are needed to run a business.

You may not care now but if you are falsely accused are you going to sell your car or house to pay for your defence?

I don't want to rant I am just sick of all the "fat cat" rubbish. I don't think £30k is a lot for someone who has bust their ar** for 6 years qualifying.

Thanks
LOL £30k...dont talk rubbish

We have just set on a junior corporate lawyer who is only part qualified and she is on nearly £80k rising to £150k next year.

Even our firms solicitors junior's are charged out at £350 an hour. Obviously I realise they dont get all that but they earn a lot more than £30k

If you are not telling porkies to try and win some public support then I'd say you have been very stupid studying for 6 years to then accept a £30k a year job. Either that or your employers truly got themselves a bargain with you
[quote][p][bold]Justice 1980[/bold] wrote: I have studied for over 6 years to qualify as a criminal defence solicitor. Qualifying has put me thousands in debt and I now receive less than £30,000 per year working a 50 + hour week. Most criminal defence solicitors would feel lucky to earn £30,000 per year. The "I know" brigade should get their facts right before claiming we earn £300k plus. Believe it or not I am proud of my profession. I work hard to defend people and have prevented many miscarriages of justice by spending time and effort preparing a case. How can I now justify to my bosses spending hours on preparing a case that only pays £500 or so in the crown court? Before someone says £500 is a lot of money that £500 has to pay my wages, admin staff wages, office costs and all the other bits and bats that are needed to run a business. You may not care now but if you are falsely accused are you going to sell your car or house to pay for your defence? I don't want to rant I am just sick of all the "fat cat" rubbish. I don't think £30k is a lot for someone who has bust their ar** for 6 years qualifying. Thanks[/p][/quote]LOL £30k...dont talk rubbish We have just set on a junior corporate lawyer who is only part qualified and she is on nearly £80k rising to £150k next year. Even our firms solicitors junior's are charged out at £350 an hour. Obviously I realise they dont get all that but they earn a lot more than £30k If you are not telling porkies to try and win some public support then I'd say you have been very stupid studying for 6 years to then accept a £30k a year job. Either that or your employers truly got themselves a bargain with you Andy2010
  • Score: 2

5:08pm Fri 7 Mar 14

The Hoffster says...

Justice 1980 wrote:
I have studied for over 6 years to qualify as a criminal defence solicitor. Qualifying has put me thousands in debt and I now receive less than £30,000 per year working a 50 + hour week.

Most criminal defence solicitors would feel lucky to earn £30,000 per year. The "I know" brigade should get their facts right before claiming we earn £300k plus.

Believe it or not I am proud of my profession. I work hard to defend people and have prevented many miscarriages of justice by spending time and effort preparing a case. How can I now justify to my bosses spending hours on preparing a case that only pays £500 or so in the crown court?

Before someone says £500 is a lot of money that £500 has to pay my wages, admin staff wages, office costs and all the other bits and bats that are needed to run a business.

You may not care now but if you are falsely accused are you going to sell your car or house to pay for your defence?

I don't want to rant I am just sick of all the "fat cat" rubbish. I don't think £30k is a lot for someone who has bust their ar** for 6 years qualifying.

Thanks
You seem to be a special case (no pun intended).
[quote][p][bold]Justice 1980[/bold] wrote: I have studied for over 6 years to qualify as a criminal defence solicitor. Qualifying has put me thousands in debt and I now receive less than £30,000 per year working a 50 + hour week. Most criminal defence solicitors would feel lucky to earn £30,000 per year. The "I know" brigade should get their facts right before claiming we earn £300k plus. Believe it or not I am proud of my profession. I work hard to defend people and have prevented many miscarriages of justice by spending time and effort preparing a case. How can I now justify to my bosses spending hours on preparing a case that only pays £500 or so in the crown court? Before someone says £500 is a lot of money that £500 has to pay my wages, admin staff wages, office costs and all the other bits and bats that are needed to run a business. You may not care now but if you are falsely accused are you going to sell your car or house to pay for your defence? I don't want to rant I am just sick of all the "fat cat" rubbish. I don't think £30k is a lot for someone who has bust their ar** for 6 years qualifying. Thanks[/p][/quote]You seem to be a special case (no pun intended). The Hoffster
  • Score: -1

5:39pm Fri 7 Mar 14

Justice 1980 says...

You are talking about civil lawyers not criminal.

Legal aid rate is 45 per hour and being reduced to 38 when not a fixed fee.

If you have a job vacancy please let me know ill start Monday.
You are talking about civil lawyers not criminal. Legal aid rate is 45 per hour and being reduced to 38 when not a fixed fee. If you have a job vacancy please let me know ill start Monday. Justice 1980
  • Score: -1

5:46pm Fri 7 Mar 14

Justice 1980 says...

Ps the newly qualified wage is 23k
Ps the newly qualified wage is 23k Justice 1980
  • Score: -1

5:47pm Fri 7 Mar 14

The Hoffster says...

Justice 1980 wrote:
You are talking about civil lawyers not criminal.

Legal aid rate is 45 per hour and being reduced to 38 when not a fixed fee.

If you have a job vacancy please let me know ill start Monday.
*Room attendant/cleaner: Bingley*

More info in the 'Jobs' section on this website :)
[quote][p][bold]Justice 1980[/bold] wrote: You are talking about civil lawyers not criminal. Legal aid rate is 45 per hour and being reduced to 38 when not a fixed fee. If you have a job vacancy please let me know ill start Monday.[/p][/quote]*Room attendant/cleaner: Bingley* More info in the 'Jobs' section on this website :) The Hoffster
  • Score: 0

6:38pm Fri 7 Mar 14

Justice 1980 says...

Justice 1980 wrote:
You are talking about civil lawyers not criminal.

Legal aid rate is 45 per hour and being reduced to 38 when not a fixed fee.

If you have a job vacancy please let me know ill start Monday.
I was a cleaner while studying for my A levels so at least ive got experience


Thanks for the suggestion.
[quote][p][bold]Justice 1980[/bold] wrote: You are talking about civil lawyers not criminal. Legal aid rate is 45 per hour and being reduced to 38 when not a fixed fee. If you have a job vacancy please let me know ill start Monday.[/p][/quote]I was a cleaner while studying for my A levels so at least ive got experience Thanks for the suggestion. Justice 1980
  • Score: 0

10:28pm Fri 7 Mar 14

eeeybygum says...

Lets be realistic. This applies to criminal defence lawyers, not "fat cats", not commercial lawyers, not private paid family lawyers charging £250 an hour. It applies to lawyers who mostly don't charge their clients a penny and get paid by the government.

Lets say the 'average' criminal case is a common assault. Lets face it, that could be me, you, your mate, it happens, people hit each other sometimes. Some are guilty, some are not.

The average fee for an average case is about £250 for the lawyer.
That includes the Police station and a guilty plea or a very short trial in the magistrates court.

Most lawyers in the Magistrates Court in Bradford will get about 4 cases like that per week. That's a very average estimate, but I think it's about right. Often cases will be heard but the lawyer doesn't get paid because the client makes an application for legal aid but isn't eligible and doesn't pay.

So that's a grand a week.

Maths fans, that's £52,000 per year.

Once you deduct administrative fees, insurance etc, that's a living wage of £30,000 for an average criminal lawyer. I earn exactly that amount and I have been qualified for five years.

A GP earns £90k a year. An average commercial lawyer earns about the same.

But hey, we are all fat cats, why not just cut my firms fees by 20%, or 50%, who cares, we are all fat cat lawyers.

Oh well, if you ever act in self defence when someone tries to attack you, I might be not be there to defend you and you can do it yourself.

But just remember you will be up against a nicely paid lawyer from the CPS and he will kick your a*** all over court.

Your choice.
Lets be realistic. This applies to criminal defence lawyers, not "fat cats", not commercial lawyers, not private paid family lawyers charging £250 an hour. It applies to lawyers who mostly don't charge their clients a penny and get paid by the government. Lets say the 'average' criminal case is a common assault. Lets face it, that could be me, you, your mate, it happens, people hit each other sometimes. Some are guilty, some are not. The average fee for an average case is about £250 for the lawyer. That includes the Police station and a guilty plea or a very short trial in the magistrates court. Most lawyers in the Magistrates Court in Bradford will get about 4 cases like that per week. That's a very average estimate, but I think it's about right. Often cases will be heard but the lawyer doesn't get paid because the client makes an application for legal aid but isn't eligible and doesn't pay. So that's a grand a week. Maths fans, that's £52,000 per year. Once you deduct administrative fees, insurance etc, that's a living wage of £30,000 for an average criminal lawyer. I earn exactly that amount and I have been qualified for five years. A GP earns £90k a year. An average commercial lawyer earns about the same. But hey, we are all fat cats, why not just cut my firms fees by 20%, or 50%, who cares, we are all fat cat lawyers. Oh well, if you ever act in self defence when someone tries to attack you, I might be not be there to defend you and you can do it yourself. But just remember you will be up against a nicely paid lawyer from the CPS and he will kick your a*** all over court. Your choice. eeeybygum
  • Score: 5

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