The Court of Appeal hearing in the continuing litigation, concluded yesterday. (see previous post).
The Master of the Rolls, Lord Dyson, who has taken a special interest in the case, said that judgment would be handed down as soon as possible, before Easter. In the meantime, the tender remains suspended.
It is worth noting that the issue of financial viability was extensively explored during the two day hearing. A key issue hanging over practitioners is whether the LAA will implement the promised further 8.75 % fee cut prior to the new contracts.
The more the tender is delayed, the more likely it appears that the LAA will need to implement a ‘plan B’ to ensure that new contracts can replace the existing contracts to deliver duty solicitor services in police stations and Magistrates’ Courts from July this year. However, as the ‘own client’ tender has already concluded and offers have been made, it appears that the LAA could use that as a basis for new duty contracts if it needs to do so.