What now for the Crime Duty Solicitor tender?

We are all absorbing the news that the High Court has rejected the legal challenges brought by the Law Society and the Criminal Law Solicitors’ Association and London Criminal Courts Solicitors’ Association.

The duty contracts tender remains frozen for the present.  The High Court refused permission to appeal but extended the stay until 16:00 next Friday (27 February 2015) to enable the claimants to get the matter into the Court of Appeal.  The focus is now on an application to the Court of Appeal to get an extended stay from them pending the appeal.

The LAA’s response to the judgment was to indicate to all potential applicants in the tender that it intends to continue with the tender as soon as possible but obviously that is dependent on the Court of Appeal’s decision.

Given the five week delay to the tender process, there continues to be much debate as to how the LAA could feasibly bring duty solicitor contracts into force by the Autumn.  Any further delay must surely throw the whole process into jeopardy.

We await with anticipation the outcome of next week’s hearing.

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