Legal Aid Payment Advisory Panel minutes: January 2020

Minutes and papers from the seventh meeting of Legal Aid Payment Advisory Panel, held on 8 January 2020.

Attendees and apologies


  • Neil Rennick, Chair
  • Colin Lancaster, Scottish Legal Aid Board
  • Professor Frank Stephen, University of Manchester
  • Raymond McMenamin, Scottish Legal Aid Board
  • Mark Thorley, Law Society of Scotland
  • Ian Moir, Law Society of Scotland
  • Paul Brown, Scottish Association of Law Centres
  • Professor Mike Danson, Economist

Scottish Government Official

  • Denise Swanson, Head of Access to Justice
  • Kieran Burke, Bill Team Lead, Access to Justice
  • Peter Conlong, Economic Advisor, Justice Analytical Services
  • Rebecca Smith, Legal Services Regulation, Access to Justice                                  
  • Shona Urquhart, Legal Aid Reform Manager, Access to Justice       


  • Ross Yuill, Society of Solicitor Advocates
  • Professor Graeme Roy, University of Strathclyde
  • Ronald Renucci QC, Faculty of Advocates
  • Gillian Fyfe, Citizens Advice Scotland
  • Ruth Innes QC, Faculty of Advocates
  • Steven Ing, Economic Advisor, Justice Analytical Services                                                 

Items and actions


Neil Rennick opened the meeting and welcomed members to the panel. 

Agenda Item 1

Scottish Government Paper - paper reflected on the presentations to and discussions by the panel to date, and brought these together with reference to the remit and objectives of the Panel. It set out potential findings and recommendations that the group may include in its report to Ministers.

The final meeting will be held in March. This would allow the panel a sufficient period of time to pull together work for comments/revision for discussion at this meeting. 

Paper Discussion

The purpose of the paper was to reflect on ground covered in the meetings so far and how the outcomes might be captured in making recommendations to the Minister.

Structure of the Paper:

  • Section 1 - Presents the essential context for considering the work and recommendations of the Group.
  • Section 2 - Discusses the key discussion areas and conclusions of the group, organising via the Terms of Reference of the Group.
  • Section 3 - Provides points for discussion.
  • Section 4 – Provides a proposal for next steps.

Priorities for the next meeting

The Panel will further discuss challenges in the market, particular areas of priority, and further develop recommendations to be submitted to the Minister. 

Next meeting – Friday 20th March

Legal Aid Payment Advisory Panel minutes: January 2020
Mark Thorley observation paper
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