Insult to Injury

You have expended years of hard work building your business. Your business is a criminal defence law firm; at once the most regulatory demanding in legal practice and the one which attracts the lowest rates of remuneration. Despite this you have made it a success, fully understanding the risks involved, and probably having experienced the good times and bad.

Beyond this personal success your business has a social value, it helps protect a cornerstone of democracy – access to justice. You are also an SME, prized by successive governments for being entrepreneurial, for generating wealth and jobs. The PM particularly values this contribution to the economy.

The Lord Chancellor is less moved by any of this than his boss. As you know he currently proposes a draconian range of changes to the basic infrastructure in which you have always worked. This means that many of you face potential destruction; the loss of a lifetimes of professional investment in a business which might disappear almost overnight. The start-up costs, your signature to long leases, borrowing secured on your family home, HP on business vehicles, not yet fulfilled training contracts and perhaps even succession planning designed to top up an otherwise limited pension fun.

What if you had been sheltered from all of this? Been pampered from the start with taxpayers money, given nicely furnished offices, a decent salary and pension and tellingly, avoided any scrutiny as to your “cost effectiveness”. Right now the PDS, for that is who we are talking about, is also exempt from the Lord Chancellors withering in gaze. Not only will it survive the proposed changes, unscathed, someone has also decided that now is the time to announce some further “investment”.

“This is a logical step to take as the service expands and continues to innovate”.

A “Head of Advocacy” and a QC to boot – “innovation” beyond your wildest dreams.

So there you have it – you might be about to suffer a 17.5% cut and face ruin – at least you can console yourself that the decaying remnants of the ill-conceived, PDS folly will continue to provide a fully funded “safeguard against market failure”.

About Author: SP

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