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Legal Aid

Volume 465: debated on Thursday 25 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answer of 10 September 2007, Official Report, column 1994W, on Legal Aid, if his Department will assess whether Arani and Co. solicitors should be allowed to remain on the list of legal aid firms. (160121)

The Legal Services Commission is responsible for awarding General Criminal Contracts, and for enforcing compliance with the standards required of contract holders. Any provider with a criminal legal aid contract, including Arani and Co., is subject to a series of reviews. The reviews test whether claims for legal aid have been made in accordance with the rules; whether the provider’s performance meets the requirements of the General Criminal Contract and specialist quality mark; and whether an independent peer review assesses the provider of sufficient quality to deliver an acceptable standard of legal advice and assistance.

Any decision to terminate a criminal legal aid contract is a matter for the Legal Services Commission, should any of the reviews demonstrate that such action is necessary.