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Tuesday 23 January 2018

Lawyers plan to sue in row over legal aid fees

LAWYERS who represent defendants in criminal cases are preparing to sue the Government over the latest reduction in fees.

The Irish Independent has learned that the legal action is one of a number of options, including strike action, being considered by the newly formed Criminal Law Practitioners Organisation.

This is a new coalition of barristers and solicitors which has been established to fight changes to Criminal Legal Aid (CLA) fees.

Lawyers surveyed at the first meeting said that they would withdraw their participation from the CLA scheme by the beginning of the new legal term on October 3 if there was "no other way" to resolve the row.

The row involves a 10pc reduction in CLA fees -- a reduction that will see defence lawyers earn less than prosecutors.

It comes as Justice Minister Alan Shatter is finalising new laws to reform the legal profession.

Irish Independent

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