Academics, advocates and solicitors to advise on approach to reviewing legal aid fees.
Experts from across the legal profession have joined a Scottish Government panel to advise on an evidence-based approach for a review of fee levels for legal aid services.
The panel has been established in response to recommendations set out in Martyn Evans’ independent review of legal aid.
The panel will include academics and members of the Faculty of Advocates, the Society of Solicitor Advocates, the Law Society and the Scottish Legal Aid Board. The panel will meet for the first time on 15 March.
Community Safety Minister Ash Denham said:
“A legal aid service that is effective and user-focused is key to assisting some of the most vulnerable in our society. We have already taken steps to demonstrate our commitment to those delivering this vital service, including a 3% uplift in fees across the board for legal aid lawyers, which will take effect next month.
“The creation of our expert panel is an important step towards modernising the system to ensure that it is fair to both the taxpayer and the provider, and is sustainable for the future.
“Despite significant financial pressures, Scotland’s legal aid system is one of the leading jurisdictions in Europe in terms of scope, eligibility and cost, with three-quarters of people eligible for some form of civil legal aid assistance. This contrasts with the position in England and Wales, where only around 25% are eligible, and where legal aid scope for many areas of civil law such as family, housing and immigration have been cut.”
The Scottish Government Expert Payment Advisory Panel members:
Professor Graeme Roy (Director of the Fraser Allander Institute, University of Strathclyde)
Professor Emeritus Frank Stephen (Economist)
Ruth Innes QC (Faculty of Advocates)
Ronaldo Renucci QC (Faculty of Advocates)
Ross Yuill (Society of Solicitor Advocates)
Ian Moir (Law Society of Scotland)
Mark Thorley (Law Society of Scotland)
Paul Brown (Scottish Association of Law Centres)
Raymond McMenamin (Scottish Legal Aid Board)
Colin Lancaster (Scottish Legal Aid Board)
Neil Rennick (Scottish Government Director of Justice and Chair)
The Scottish Government’s full response to Martyn Evans’ independent review of legal aid.