Welcome Learned Friends

I would just like to take a moment to welcome My Learned Friends at the Bar of England and Wales to the officious world of the Legal Services Commission - a true bureaucracy that has no purpose other than to create more red tape and expense.

Quite recently, the LSC took over the handling of the Advocates Graduated Fee Scheme (basically how the Bar gets paid for Crown Court work).  Previously, such things were handled by a single or sometimes small team clerks at the Court where the work was conducted and payment would be authorised and made within a short time-scale of a few weeks in most cases.  From my own experience, the court staff were usually efficient, friendly and made few mistakes - if they adjusted a bill they were right 9 times out of 10.  My own experience of the LSC (who have been handling all types of solicitors claims for years) is that they are almost never efficient, staff may or may not be friendly and they make a huge number of mistakes - for example, I recently had a bill reduced because the page count was reduced "as per the evidence YOU sent us", so said the scawled note on my bill.  I returned it pointing out that they had failed to include two whole schedules of evidence when they did they sums.  That bill was originally submitted in January and as we approach May I am still waiting to be paid!  This is normal.

I am now hearing lots of complaints from the Bar that their bills are not being paid and that they feel like the LSC are calling them liars... all I can say is welcome to my world where solicitors have put up with this attitude from the LSC for years.

Members of the Bar, just wait until the LSC starts telling you how to do your job despite not having any legal qualifications or ever having stepped foot inside a court room, because they love to say that whatever you do for your clients was unnecessary (like reading the evideince against them, taking their instructions, etc).

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