Bidding Alert 

I have just had a major chew-on with a Mental Health bid. As in previous rounds it involved the uploading of an Excel based information form. If you are submitting a bid this round do check that it has properly uploaded to the PQQ – you should be able to see the small green Excel […]

Reading Materials 

The Law Society has published some guidance materials surrounding the proposed dual contract scheme fro criminal legal aid. You can access them here


We have sight of a rejected Defence Costs Order claim determination. Now nobody doubts that this order was made and was appropriate however it does not contain the words; “costs including an amount in respect of legal costs to be met from central funds” So the firm have to go back to Court and get […]

New York Morning 

I didn’t like this much when it was the first release from the Elbow’s “The Take Off and Landing of Everything”. In the context of the album my view has reversed. They are not a singles band I guess. This is a great return to form after the patchy “Rocket”. 2 quick questions for fellow […]

SQM Appraisal Time 

We tweeted on this story yesterday. (HT Legal Aid Handbook) If you have the time and the inclination the full judgement is worth a look at. If you don’t, everything from para. 81, in a section sub headlined “Legal Aid Agency”, is a must. These findings could almost pass as a “Performance Appraisal” of the […]

Rambling Distance? 

On the 17th February we posted this about the assessment of travel claims. It was a pretty standard JRS “weather vane” moment; we immediately suspected a wider agenda and the issue widening. I had an exchange with the infallible Andrew Keogh of Crimeline regarding CBAM 3.9.11, which states; “Local travel expenses should not be claimed […]

Not A Grower 

Are you familiar with the concept of a “grower”? A song or an album you do not like at first but which over a period of time, and a number of listens, you come to love. Is there a name for the reverse process – something you do not like at first and the more […]

More “Next steps” 

Last Friday, as part of the day of action in the North we provided this one-hour summary of the MoJ’s “Next Steps” for Criminal Legal Aid. By request we are running this as this weeks Friday Webinar. It is ideal for those wanting a quick confirmatory overview of the proposals and some commentary upon them […]

Walls Come Tumbling Down 

Friday of Action Song – Here is one from the olden days featuring a much younger Paul Weller in his Style Council incarnation – the chorus, in particular, seems appropriate today

Day of Action 

We are supporting this, “Obvs”, as the kids would say. If you want to hear me “train” on the MoJ “Next Steps in the Transformation of Legal Aid” you can, 11:30 this Friday, 7/3/14, at O’Connells, Bedford Street, Middlesbrough. We are in the upstairs room – not the bar – however I might dispense some […]