Lawyers walk out

Defence solicitors protesting outside Fareham magistrates court over legal aid cuts
Defence solicitors protesting outside Fareham magistrates court over legal aid cuts
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THERE was disruption in court yesterday as defence lawyers walked out for the second time this year in protest over cuts to legal aid.

Barristers and solicitors picketed outside Fareham, Portsmouth, and Chichester magistrates, crown, and civil courts meaning some cases could not go ahead.

The Ministry of Justice has announced cuts of 17.5 per cent cut for solicitors and 30 per cent for barristers.

Angry lawyers say they have not received an increase in fees since 1995 and the latest cuts are a double blow and talented advocates will leave the profession.

Solicitor Bill Charlton, said: ‘What other group of employees would tolerate that situation?’

Solicitor Robert Ashworth said: ‘The cuts are not necessary and will lead to the destruction of the best and fairest system in the world.’

Laura Barrow, from Fratton, who was threatened with eviction, had her case won by Ian Heal of Churchers Bolitho Way Solicitors.

She said: ‘I would have had to represent myself if I had not had legal aid.’