One of the reasons why the defence solicitor son of your recent correspondent is ‘paid a pittance’ (letters, 16 October) may be the profession’s lemming-like acceptance of so-called ‘franchising’ and the time-limited criminal contracts in the late 1990s.

Such unthinking acceptance eliminated local independence and competition. It ceded effective control of legal aid practices to a remote, anonymous and lay bureaucracy concerned only to promote the ‘efficiency’ agenda, then and now beloved of all ambitious politicians and administrators. In my view, the generation that rushed headlong over this particular cliff in pursuit of the chimera of financial stability did a grave disservice to future colleagues.

The Law Society ‘sold the pass’; don’t look to it for succour.

Alexander McCulloch, Haywards Heath, West Sussex