The Legal Aid Agency has terminated its contract with Public Interest Lawyers, it announced today.

The agency said it considered that the Birmingham- and London-based firm had breached its contractual requirements.

Posting the news on its website, the agency said: ‘We have taken this action after a thorough review of information provided by PIL, following the investigation by the Solicitors Regulation Authority into the firm.

‘SRA has asked the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal to consider allegations against the firm.’

Last month the tribunal confirmed that the next hearing into ongoing disciplinary proceedings against Public Interest Lawyers director Phil Shiner (pictured) would be held behind closed doors.

The agency said today that it had no role in judging the issues of professional conduct involved in the allegations.

‘However, we are clear that contractual breaches with LAA’s contract are proven and warrant investigation by the relevant authorities,’ it added.

‘LAA will carefully consider any application to transfer representation to a new firm in accordance with the relevant criteria.’

Public Interest Lawyers has been approached for comment.