Top barrister lays into Government

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The Government will come under fire today as barristers are urged to consider striking over cutbacks and changes to the legal aid system.

In a speech to the Criminal Bar Association annual dinner, chairman Max Hill QC will claim the Government is obsessed with money, leaving the burden of maintaining the justice system amid service cuts on the shoulders of barristers who have been left with personal financial losses.

His warning comes as a poll of more than 1,600 barristers found nine out of 10 are prepared to go on strike over proposed changes to the criminal justice system.

Calling on members to consider strike action, Mr Hill will say: “They should be telling the truth, which is: ‘We the Government are prepared to settle for cheap, partial justice, but we will con the public into believing it is greedy lawyers who are to blame.’”

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: “Striking is never the answer to resolving complaints. The changes we have made to legal aid are necessary and barristers are still paid well for legal aid cases.”