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Criminal barristers offered £54m deal on Legal Aid as government seeks to end strike

Criminal barristers have been offered a fresh deal worth £54 million on Legal Aid in a government bid to end the strike cripping the criminal justice system.Barristers have been taking industrial action since April over Legal Aid fees, and voted overwhelmingly in favour of an all-out strike on August 22.Thousands of court hearings and criminal trials have been derailed by the resulting disruption, with cases having to be adjourned when the defendant was not legally represented.The government’s original offer was a 15 per cent increase in Legal Aid fees, which would come into effect later this week but crucially would not apply to the existing 60,000 cases in the courts backlog.After talks with the Criminal Bar Association (CBA), new Justice Secretary Brandon Lewis is now offering to apply the new fees to the “vast majority” of backlog cases.
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