These are tough times for Criminal practices. There are anecdotal reports of floods of practioners trying to get jobs with the CPS, getting out of the profession, or even (shudder) trying to switch to conveyancing (just in time for Tesco Law to wipe out that sector).
As if the LSC hadn’t dreamt up enough problems for these unfortunates, it has taken to fannying about with the duty solicitor rota scheme. A new scheme, allegedly based on historical volumes of work, was to be implemented about now. Some firms faced significant cuts and acted accordingly.
Now the LSC has withdrawn the scheme, until October at least, because the data on which it was based was ‘inaccurate’. Marvellous.
Kaim Todner, a South London firm, had made redundancies based on the new scheme and are now steamingly furious and ‘taking legal advice’.
Meanwhile, north of the river, I have heard that a North London firm, faced with flat fees for police station attendances, has come up with a cunning plan to keep its income up. Screw the staff.
The firm is to introduce shifts so that it can do away with overtime or out of hours pay. It isn’t much of a step from professional to proletarian, after all. I have also heard staff responses to this wheeze, which are understandably abuse laden. Conveyancing might not seem like a bad option.