Charter Chambers has decided that the Advocates’ Graduated Fee Scheme, due to be introduced by the Ministry of Justice on 1st April 2018, is likely to result in a further significant cut to the fees paid to barristers at every level of experience and skill. In addition it provides no indexation for future payments.
In our view, the new fee levels and structure of payments under the revised scheme seriously threaten the future of the publicly funded Criminal Bar and will cause further damage to our already seriously underfunded Criminal Justice System. In consequence, and with regret and concern for those needing publicly funded representation in our courts, members of Charter Chambers have decided that we will not accept instructions in cases where a legal aid representation order is issued after 1st April 2018 and advocacy services will be remunerated under the new AGFS scheme. In common with other chambers nationwide, we fully support the stance taken by the Bar Council, the Criminal Bar Association and the proposed ‘action days’.