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Barristers’ Strike Action Ends

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Following a ballot of its membership, the Criminal Bar Association announced earlier this morning that the deal negotiated by  it, on behalf of the Criminal Bar,  has been accepted. The strike action that has been ongoing will cease today.

We want to thank you for the absolute support and understanding we have received through what has been a testing time for all.  We fully understand that the action has not just impacted upon counsel but also  upon our valued instructing solicitors, and  most importantly,  upon our mutual clients. 

Throughout negotiations the CBA has fought for the Bar but has at the same time done its upmost to support solicitors’ concerns arising from the original package offered by the Government. Whilst achieving the backdating of rate increases is certainly of value, the most important concession gained is agreement that the independent advisory board now to be established will focus on the structure and operation of all legal aid fee schemes and upon which solicitors and the Law Society will be represented alongside the Bar. This was not included in the government’s original proposals and there is real reason to believe this will move us all away from a position where all governments can simply leave legal aid rates untouched year on year, or indeed actually reduce them . As with all pay review bodies any recommendations are advisory only, but that said it can be seen that all governments invariably follow such recommendations and can be challenged if they do not . We really do think this will be a game-changer.

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