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Legal aid tender exercise: judicial review update

LSC declines Law Society’s terms of reference for review of tender outcome and impact study

The Law Society reports that the Legal Services Commission has not accepted the Society's proposed terms of reference for an immediate nationwide review of the tender outcome and its impact on access to justice.

Therefore the Society has continued to prepare for the expedited judicial review hearing, which will be heard before Mr Justice Beatson in the High Court in London on Tuesday 21 and Wednesday 22 September.

The LSC did not comply with the direction laid down by Mr Justice Irwin to serve its evidence by the end of Friday 10 September and did not finally serve it until Tuesday 14 September. The Society's evidence in response was due to be served on Friday 17 September. One grouping of firms remains joined as an interested party to the proceedings, though three other parties have applied to be joined.

The Society's says that its aim remains that the court timetable is not derailed so that judgment can be delivered by Friday 24 September and the uncertainty for the profession resolved at the earliest possible opportunity.