Justice Questions

At Department of Justice Oral Questions on Tuesday 18 October 2022, I asked the Secretary of State for Justice about an increase in fees for solicitors working in the criminal justice system.  The Government recently reached an agreement with barristers to end their strike, which includes a 15% fee increase but are only offering solicitors a fees increase of 9%. This falls below inflation and will not make up for years of underfunding that the system has faced.

In response to a question on increasing fees for barristers and solicitors, I asked the Secretary of State:

“The Secretary of State mentions solicitors, so can he say why solicitors have received only a 9% increase in fees, prompting the Law Society to say that they may advise solicitors to not undertake criminal defence work?”

The Secretary of State responded:

“I am not sure many people would class 9% as “only”, but that also does not reflect some of the other investments that solicitors will benefit from, particularly the substantial investment in youth courts, for example. As I said, we will respond more widely to CLAIR for the whole profession at the end of November and work with the relevant societies and associations.”