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Solicitors agree £11m deal on legal aid fees with Scottish Government

Solicitors have long argued for an increase in legal aid fees (Jane Barlow/PA)
Solicitors have long argued for an increase in legal aid fees (Jane Barlow/PA)

Groups representing solicitors have agreed an £11 million deal with the Scottish Government which increases legal aid fees.

The Scottish Solicitors Bar Association (SSBA) and the Law Society have accepted a deal which changes the structure of legal aid payments.

The new system will come into force in April, aiming to reduce the number of hearings.

Lawyers groups have long been arguing for increased legal aid payments.

New community safety minister for Scotland
Elena Whitham said the Government would continue to work with the law profession (Jane Barlow/PA)

In April last year, the dispute led to  SSBA members announcing they would boycott certain domestic abuse cases.

Community Safety Minister Elena Whitham said: “Scotland’s legal aid system is a vital lifeline to justice for many thousands of people and is one of the best systems in Europe, which is a testament to the hard work and dedication of participating lawyers, the Scottish Legal Aid Board and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.

“I want to thank members of the Law Society of Scotland and the Scottish Solicitors Bar Association for working with us to reach an agreement that represents a genuine and credible offer of funding.

“A review mechanism for legal aid fees in the future will ensure the ongoing sustainability of Scotland’s legal aid system.

“We will continue to work with the legal profession and wider stakeholders, to ensure confidence in this process.”