Lawyers stay away in protest
LAWYERS stayed away from courts across Kent this week, including Ashford, in protest against proposed changes to legal aid.
Many others remained in their offices or travelled to the NEC in Birmingham for a training day, although a spokesman for Her Majesty’s Court Service said there had been “no disruption”.
The training day was part of unprecedented national action by two solicitors’ unions, which also saw lawyers from the area join more than 1,000 others protesting outside Parliament.
Solicitors say the proposed changes, put forward by the Legal Services Commission, would mean at least a 10 per cent reduction in already low pay rates and would force many out of business.
Spokesman Mark Haskell said: “Local solicitors are determined to raise the profile of this matter because already ‘advice deserts’ have arisen across the country which are leaving the most vulnerable without recourse to advice and support particularly in civil procedings such as family and matrimonial work.
“During the next few months those cuts will extend to advice for criminal matters in police stations and Magistrates Courts.”