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London lawyers refuse legal aid jobs in dispute over fees

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Solicitors in London are turning down new instructions for defendants accused of assaults on emergency workers and harassment offences in an escalating dispute over legal aid fees.Criminal defence lawyers in the capital are already refusing burglary cases because they say legal aid fees are too low.Hesham Puri, head of the London Criminal Courts Solicitors’ Association (LCCSA), said: “The impact will be people being unrepresented and huge delays for victims and witnesses.

Of course, we don’t want that, but the work is just so badly paid. The entire system is broken from years of underfunding and lawyers have had enough.“If we don’t fight for the future of our ailing profession now, in five years’ time police stations and magistrates courts will no longer have proper access to justice.

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