All legal professionals know of the recent cutbacks the government has made in regards to Legal Aid and they will be experiencing the consequences by now.
However, the legally aided criminal defence lawyers like myself will have seen and experienced the severity of the consequences more than most and their clients now find themselves in somewhat of a catch-22 situation with increasingly less light at the end of the tunnel.
Gone are the days when they were able to rely on their own lawyer to cross counties to represent them without having to worry if he/she was going to be thinking about the cost-effectiveness of making the journey and being monetarily persuaded to instruct an agent he/she has never met before.
Which is ironic considering that as of January 2016 most firms will only be left with their ‘own client’ contracts to survive on…which begs the question, what good is an ‘own client’ contract when for many firms it will simply not be economically viable to represent their ‘own clients’ should they get arrested further than a stones throw away!
Having been in the profession for two decades now, I have built a humble but loyal following of clients who I have represented over the years and will continue to do so for as long as I can, even if, on occasion it could be called economic suicide.
Why, you ask?
For conscience, not for cash, I tell you.