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Practitioner groups consider Gove’s legal aid offer

Practitioner groups are today pondering whether to accept Michael Gove’s offer to suspend the government’s latest cut to legal aid fees.

News emerged late on Friday that the lord chancellor had made the offer last week.

However, he will withdraw the gesture should criminal defence solicitors resume their nationwide boycott in protest at the Ministry of Justice’s reforms.

A second 8.75% fee cut was introduced on 1 July, which prompted thousands of solicitors to boycott legal aid work under the new rate. A survey by the groups on whether firms would be prepared to withdraw their bids for new legal aid contracts closes today.

Gove (pictured) made an offer on Wednesday during a meeting with the London Criminal Courts Solicitors’ Association, Criminal Law Solicitors’ Association and the Big Firms Group. A member of the Criminal Bar Association attended as an observer.

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