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Legal Aid Scheme

Justice written question – answered on 3rd February 2011.

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Photo of Teresa Pearce Teresa Pearce Labour, Erith and Thamesmead

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what funding the Legal Services Commission provided from the legal aid budget for legal assistance and representation relating to multi-party actions in each of the last 10 years.

Photo of Jonathan Djanogly Jonathan Djanogly The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

Multi-party action legal aid expenditure for each of the last 10 years, net of the legal aid costs recovered from the opposing party in cases where the party in receipt of legal aid succeeds, is shown as follows.

£ million
2000-01 20.2
2001-02 16.6
2002-03 14.9
2003-04 8.4
2004-05 7.7
2005-06 3.2
2006-07 (1)-3.3
2007-08 (1)-0.6
2008-09 (1)-2.6
2009-10 0.2
(1) Recovery

The reduction in the net expenditure is due to a number of factors, including, the removal of personal injury from the scope of legal aid, and the introduction of 'risk rates' for multi-party actions where legal aid is paid at a third of the market rates throughout the duration of those cases where the full legal costs are likely to be recovered from the opposing party. The high spend in the early 2000s was due to discontinuing a number of very expensive actions, and the recoveries in the mid 2000s were due to success in a number of child abuse cases.

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