Gary McKinnon’s solicitor has described the future for criminal legal aid firms as ‘very scary’, amid swingeing cuts and payment problems. Karen Todner, who was last week named the Gazette’s Legal Personality of the Year, said: ‘The system is so restrictive in terms of running a business.’

Todner also voiced fears about diversity in the profession, pointing to the ‘horrendous debts’ many young people now have to incur to become a solicitor. ‘Unless they have private means they are going to find it difficult, which is an awful thing to say,’ she added.

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