Today the justice secretary said that QC’s are definitely not the best choice for criminal defence because they are being paid by the legal aid budget and it needs serious cuts.
He had the option to state his opinion on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme saying less expensive lawyers were much more suitable in such cases.
He said: ‘If you look at the daily rate for a senior QC it can be between £1,300 and £2,000. For somebody who’s going to become a QC in a month’s time, it’s just over half that amount.”
In his words there are many other lawyers who are almost as experienced as QC’s so there should be no problem if these protect criminals.
Grayling said: ‘The reason I’m starting this discussion, and I’ll be talking to the Bar Council and others, is that in some cases we’re now spending £500,000 or more on legal fees.’
The bar chair, Maura McGowan, is on the opposite opinion mentioning that according to her such cuts may turn out to be damaging. She compared the situation to one in which a junior doctor with no experience decides he might perform a complex surgery.
As the Bar Council has been without a chief executive since David Hobart changed his position, it has now begun searching one.
There is an advertisement in The Sunday Times saying: ‘Strong candidates will be proven general managers with considerable financial acumen.”