Chambers' Response to CBA Announcement

1 Mitre Court Buildings is extremely disappointed by yesterday's announcement from the Criminal Bar Association and the Circuits.

We note that the agreement was reached two days before the deadline for responding to a consultation on further direct action. We are dismayed that the CBA and the Circuits have acted without a mandate from their membership.

We firmly believe that our fight is about the fundamental issues of access to justice and equality of arms, not merely about the Bar's earnings.  The draconian and unwarranted cuts to litigators' fees, together with the introduction of dual contracts, will force the closure of many solicitors' firms, jeopardising access to justice and diversity within the profession.  We are committed to standing by our solicitor colleagues and, to that end, will be participating in the action of 31st March and 1st April, by declining to appear in magistrates' courts and refusing returns from Higher Court Advocates choosing not to work on those two days.