HC Deb 30 July 1953 vol 518 cc203-4W
Mr. F. P. Crowder

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he proposes to take to increase the remuneration payable to counsel and solicitors who undertake the defence of persons who are granted legal aid in criminal cases.

Sir D. Maxwell Fyfe

The General Council of the Bar and the Law Society have represented to me that the present fees are inadequate and have asked that the provisions of Sections 21 to 23 of the Legal Aid and Advice Act, 1949, should be brought into force. The Government would not at present feel justified in bringing these provisions into force, but recognise that a case has been made out for an increase in the existing fees. I have decided, as a temporary measure, to increase the existing fees under the existing Acts by 50 per cent., and also to provide, where a trial lasts for more than two full days at quarter sessions or assizes, for the payment of a daily fee after the second day of seven guineas to leading counsel, five guineas to junior counsel and four guineas to solicitors. The associations of local authorities have agreed on behalf of the local authorities, on whom the cost of legal aid now falls, to these proposals, and the necessary amending regulations will be made as soon as possible.