Secret Santa from the Legal Services Commission

Civil contracts to be terminated….but not sure when….

Just as legal aid lawyers were preparing to leave on Friday 21st December, they received a seemingly innocuous ‘update’ from the Commission. In my office, it was received at 16.49 pm, just as we were packing all our urgent cases into wheelie bags so we could work on them over Christmas.

The jist of the release was that due to unsuccessful negotiations with the Law Society, and the ‘risk of further litigation bringing with it uncertainty for providers and the Commission’, the Commission is currently intending ‘to terminate the Unified Contract and re-tender for the work.’

A person at the Commission’s Press Office this morning confirmed that no date as yet has been set.

In essence, on the basis that potential litigation by the law society may lead to uncertainty for suppliers, at the eleventh hour just before Christmas, the Commission have announced that they now intend to scrap the entire transitional process for civil work and move directly on to tendering – although they cannot provide any certainty as to when this will be.

Read the full story here…..and please email me if you can understand what it means for the future of civil legal aid…..

Happy Christmas

Laura Janes

Chair YLAL