The Law Society has taken the ‘difficult’ decision not to take its fight over the lord chancellor’s controversial criminal legal aid reforms to the Supreme Court following Wednesday’s Court of Appeal defeat.
An injunction suspending the tendering process for 527 duty provider contracts expired on Wednesday after the Court of Appeal refused to extend it until Monday while the Society sought to take its case to the Supreme Court.
The tender process, which had been suspended since December, has now been reopened and will close at midday on 5 May.
Society president Andrew Caplen said last night: 'Our counsel’s advice is that the recent judgment is robust and an appeal most unlikely to be granted. We have therefore taken the difficult decision not to apply to the Supreme Court for permission to appeal.’
Caplen said the Society had great reservations about the new duty solicitor contractual arrangements and would call on the new government to review them urgently after the election.
He said: ’Individual firms will need to make their own decisions on whether to bid for contracts. We will continue to support solicitors throughout the process.’
The Society has issued guidance for firms wishing to set up delivery partnerships. For more details, see here.