Rise of ABS to compensate for legal aid cuts
16th April 2012
A report from the Legal Services Consumer Panel has suggested that cuts to legal aid will be compensated for by the continued rise of Alternative Business Structures.
There had been concerns that the government’s decision to tighten the rules and eligibility criteria as to who can benefit from free legal aid would lead to those in genuine need not having affordable access to justice.
However, the report concluded that the introduction of the so-called ‘Tesco law’ system – allowing firms to receive investment from non-legal organisations - will help to ensure that consumers should still be able to get advice from professionals with solicitor jobs in London and throughout the country for a reasonable price.
The Legal Services Consumer Panel has been under pressure itself in recent times, with the Law Society questioning its relevance and recommending that it be wound down. This has been disputed by the Legal Services Board, however, whilst the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills has also supported the case for its continuation.