News story

Crime news: LGFS consultation and fee cut update

Consultation on reforming payments through the Litigators’ Graduated Fee Scheme and changing rates for court appointee work is now open.

placeholder

Proposals to change how payments are calculated for Crown Court work are set out in a 6-week consultation called ‘Litigators’ Graduated Fee Scheme and Court Appointees’.

The consultation opened on 10 February and closes on 24 March 2017. It proposes changing the basis on which LGFS payments are calculated and capping payments to court appointees at legal aid rates.

Second fee cut

The government has said that it is minded not to reinstate the second (8.75%) fee cut for defence litigators that was suspended in April 2016 for a period of 12 months.

This is subject to the outcome of the consultations on proposals for ‘LGFS and Court Appointees’.

Partnership working on LGFS

The government wants to work with the Law Society and other representative bodies to reform LGFS so that it better measures the relative complexity of cases.

The idea is to reduce or remove reliance on counting Pages of Prosecution Evidence (PPE). In the short term, the government would also like to act quickly to lower the upper limit for counting PPE.

PPE is no longer seen as the most effective way of assessing how much work a litigator needs to do on individual cases.

Payments to court appointees

The consultation also seeks views on capping payments to court appointees at legal aid rates.

Court appointees are paid at rates that are significantly higher than legal aid rates. This is for carrying out work that is very similar to criminal legal aid work.

The government view is that these higher rates cannot be justified.

AGFS consultation

The consultation on reforming payments for Crown Court work through the Advocates’ Graduated Fee Scheme closed on 2 March 2017. A response to this consultation exercise will be published by the Ministry of Justice in due course.

Further information

MOJ consultations:

LGFS and court appointees - closes 24 March 2017

Reforming AGFS – closed 2 March 2017

Published 22 February 2017