Sam Gyimah, the justice minister, responded to a question in the House of Commons, by stating that the number of legal firms in the country taking on legal aid work had fallen by 20 per cent in the past five years.
“The criminal team at HJA believe that it is everyone’s fundamental right to have the ability to be represented. We are committed to continue to represent clients who cannot afford to pay privately.
It is understandable that, given the cuts to legal aid and the difficulties firms experience in actually receiving payment for the services they provide, that so many firms nationwide feel they cannot continue to offer legal aid to clients.
The result is that people who cannot afford to pay privately have to represent themselves and this may often lead to miscarriages of justice.”