The number of contracts held between the Legal Services Commission and solicitors' offices to provide legal aid under the General Criminal Contract was 2,909 at
Before the introduction of the Unified Contract for crime work in July 2008, solicitor firms practising from more than one office needed to hold a separate contract for each office that provided legal aid. However, from
The reduction in the number of contracts reflects the trend in the last several years of offices doing small amounts of legal aid work to drop out of the market or merge with other offices, so that the work is done in larger volumes at fewer offices. This has not affected the availability of legal aid to those that need it.