Legal Aid

Lord Chancellor written question – answered on 27 February 2002.

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Photo of David Kidney David Kidney Labour, Stafford

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what recent assessment she has made of trends in recruitment and retention of legal aid lawyers.

Photo of Rosie Winterton Rosie Winterton Parliamentary Secretary (Lord Chancellor's Department)

The Legal Services Commission (LSC) reviews trends in recruitment and the retention of publicly funded lawyers on a continuing basis to ensure that there are sufficient numbers of competent lawyers to do all categories of publicly supported legal work throughout England and Wales. The LSC reports regularly to the LCD and the evidence is that there is currently a sufficient number of lawyers to undertake publicly funded work. As at 15 February 2002, there were 4,935 solicitor offices with contracts to undertake publicly funded civil and family work. In addition to this, the LSC has also awarded contracts to 382 not-for-profit sector organisations. As at 31 January 2001, the total number of solicitor offices with General Criminal Contracts stood at 2,921. There are also four public defender offices with the fifth to open in April 2002 and the sixth shortly after.

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