Zoom Logo

'COVID-19 and the Legal Aid Sector - Shared screen with speaker view
Nicola Mackintosh QC (Hon)
Dear all, I represent vulnerable adults lacking mental capacity with learning disabilities, dementia etc in the Court of Protection. At hearings in London I am paid £33.30 per hr plus a minimal enhancement (for which we have to argue hard). We make a loss. We have had no increase in civil legal aid rates for 26 years, and a 10% cut. It is not sustainable and this is why we need investment, urgently. Thank you Nicola Mackintosh QC (Hon).
Nicola Mackintosh QC (Hon)
And I agree with the Minister that the priority has to be the means test review but there simply won't be the numbers of practitioners to deliver services. Nicola
Nicola Mackintosh QC (Hon)
We were heartened by workshops on the means test which indicated that for vulnerable people deprived of their liberty they would all be entitled to non means tested legal aid. At the moment there is a large group of very vulnerable people who have no access to advice or representation at all even though the State has removed their liberty. A delay in the means test review process will only cause greater injustice. Please review the urgency and bring the timetable forward. Thank you, Nicola.