Jenny Willott welcomes removal of cut throat pricing in legal aid contracts

September 12, 2013 9:40 AM

Jenny Willott

Jenny Willott, Welsh Liberal Democrat MP for Cardiff Central, has welcomed the Government's announcement that legal aid reforms will no longer require contracts to be awarded to those who offer the cheapest fees.

Commenting Jenny Willott said:

"Earlier this year when these proposals were announced I had serious concerns about the effects they could have on the provision of legal aid. In particular there was a danger that the introduction of price-competitive tendering could result in a 'race to the bottom', with firms that simply bid lowest, rather than those which provided the best service, winning government legal aid contracts.

"I met with various Welsh lawyers and wrote to Ministers several times to highlight the potentially serious consequences of the original proposals. I am therefore very pleased that over the summer the Justice Secretary has listened to these points and the responses to the Government consultation and has reached agreement with the Law Society on a revised package of measures.

"The new proposals will mean that all those accused of a crime will remain free to choose their lawyer and that all those who currently provide criminal legal aid services can continue to do so, provided they meet minimum quality standards. I think this is a really important change, and will ensure that high quality legal representation is available to everyone."

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