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Top advocate backs campaign to prevent lost generation of lawyers

© Darrell Benns / DCT MediaAberdeen Sheriff Court
Aberdeen Sheriff Court

One of Scotland’s top advocates has backed a new group formed to tackle the growing shortage of young defence lawyers.

Experts last month warned of a threat to Scotland’s justice system because of a lack of new defence solicitors. That prompted the formation of New Generation Lawyers (NGL) who will work to boost the number of young criminal lawyers.

Ronnie Renucci QC, president of the Scottish Criminal Bar Association, said: “The flow of new solicitors coming into the criminal branch has reduced to a trickle and unless something is done there is a real danger that we are facing a lost generation. NGL will hopefully be able to give a voice both to new solicitors and those facing the increasing challenge of finding a criminal traineeship.”

NGL co-founder Matthew McGovern, a defence solicitor, said: “Our priority is to lobby the government for investment.”

The Scottish Government said: “We have maintained resourcing of Legal Aid and not cut its availability, making Scotland one of only two jurisdictions in Europe to have an uncapped demand-led legal aid fund.”