Scottish government increases fees for legal aid lawyers

By agency reporter
December 2, 2018

Solicitors and advocates providing people with advice and representation through the legal aid scheme in Scotland are to receive a three per cent increase in fees. 

The increase, to take effect next April, was announced as part of the Scottish Government’s wider response to Martyn Evans’s independent review Rethinking Legal Aid. The response also sets out plans for the establishment of a payment review panel, the streamlining of administrative processes and regulations to simplify fee structures.

A public consultation will be launched next year with responses informing the design of a user-focused and flexible legal aid service tailored to meet the needs of a modern Scotland.

The Minister for Community Safety, Ash Denham, said: “This Government values the professionals who undertake legal aid work, often for the most vulnerable in our society, therefore I am pleased to be able to announce a three per cent increase in fees. This demonstrates our commitment to those delivering this vital service and is a first step in advance of a wider review of legal aid payments.

“We want a legal aid service that is effective and user-focused and our response to Martyn Evan’s review sets out commitments to simplify and update the current system.

“We have also confirmed legal aid provision for cases in housing, immigration, welfare and family law will remain protected, unlike in England and Wales where the legal aid scope for these categories has been cut.

“We will consult and work closely with the legal profession in delivering further improvements and hope this collaboration can lead to a better system for all involved.”

The Ministry of Justice estimates 25 per cent of the population of England and Wales are financially eligible for civil legal aid that is currently within their scope. In contrast, the Scottish Legal Aid Board estimates 75 per cent of Scotland’s population is financially eligible for civil legal aid.

* Download Rethinking Legal Aid here

* The Scottish Government's response can be dowloaded here

* The Scottish government https://www.gov.scot/

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