Criminal barristers protest

The last week saw an unprecedented protest by criminal barristers against government spending cuts which continue to have a devastating effect on legal aid and the quality of justice in the magistrates court and crown court.

Although not strictly speaking a strike but an act of “mass non-attendance” crown courts ground to a halt on Monday the 6 January with criminal barristers across the country refusing to work from 2pm onwards.

The Government proposes a further cut of 30% from barristers fees in very high cost cases from April, which will significantly hit those accused of complex cases such as business crime, fraud and white-collar crime which are known as very high cost cases (VHCC). These are amongst the most complex and demanding of all criminal trials in the crown court.

These cuts are on top of 40% cuts to the legal aid budget which have been applied incrementally from 1997 onwards.

The devastating cuts to legal aid work has meant many criminal barristers have left the criminal bar and many inexperienced “solicitor advocates” are undertaking serious criminal trials with solicitors firms providing an “in house” service.

The barristers working for, fully support and express solidarity with all members of the criminal bar who are protesting against the cuts.

As a policy we are not undertaking any return VHCC work where a member of the bar has refused to take on a legal aid case where the cuts are being forced by the Government.

In other areas of criminal work, if you require the services of a criminal-barrister and have been refused legal aid then contact us to see if it is more cost-effective to instruct us than to pay a legal aid contribution order.

Our service can usually mean that it’s more cost effective to instruct an experienced direct access criminal barrister instead of having to pay a legal aid contribution order for both a criminal solicitor and criminal barrister.

See our frequently asked questions section to see how instructing a barrister directly can help you.

We would be happy to take your call on (020) 8123 9999 or email

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