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Work on the Advocates Graduated Fees Scheme has taken priority both in terms of the capacity and sensitivity of engaging with relevant stakeholders, eg the Bar and Solicitors, as well as policy resources. We expect to publish a response to this consultation later in the year. . The government is seeking views on:
- the proposed introduction of a panel scheme – publicly funded criminal defence advocacy in the Crown Court and above would be undertaken by advocates who are members of this panel
- the proposed introduction of a statutory ban on referral fees
- how disguised referral fees can be identified and prevented
- the proposed introduction of stronger measures to ensure client choice and prevent conflicts of interest
These measures seek to address the concerns highlighted by Sir Bill Jeffrey in his Review of Independent Criminal Advocacy.