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Legal aid change for trial advocates

By Wesleyan

Lawyers representing defendants at the main hearing in a criminal trial are to receive the legal aid fee, the Government has announced.

The change to the rules surrounding legal aid will come into force in May, after the Ministry of Justice has amended the Criminal Legal Aid (Remuneration) Regulations 2013.

The move will mean trial advocates attending a criminal case's main hearing will get the legal aid fee.

The Government says the rules are being changed in response to the findings of the Review of Efficiency in Criminal Proceedings, carried out by Sir Brian Leveson.

Sir Brian said paying the fee to the advocate conducting the main hearing would help case ownership work in practice.

Legal aid providers will be able to get more information about the changes when the Ministry of Justice updates the Crown Court Fee Guidance next month.

Legal aid was introduced in England and Wales more than 60 years ago and in 2009 cost the taxpayer some £2 billion.

Copyright Press Association 2015

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