Sunday, April 23, 2006

Doom and Gloom

The Criminal Law Solicitors Association recently published the results of a survey/questionnaire. This particular survey was asking how criminal practitioners view their future working with the changes that are likely to be implemented by the Carter review.

Here are a few snippets:

"Do you agree with the proposal to promote restructuring of suppliers to deliver fewer, larger, more efficient contractors ?" 84% Said no.

"In the light of the Carter report, do you anticipate for your firm expansion, shrinkage, or about the same?" 44% Said there would be shrinkage. 15% Said there would be expansion. 31% Said there would be no change. 10% Did not answer the question.

The last question which shows the uncertain future for criminal practitioners was:

"If when the figures come, the Review indicates that your firms income from criminal defence work will reduce, do you think that your firm will continue doing it?" 26% Said no. 37% Said probably not. 31% Said probably yes. 2% Did not answer. Amazingly only 2% answered this question with a straight yes.

My firm has departmental meeting every week, and for the past few weeks the theme of our meetings has been Carter. A small catch phrase has sprung up around the office of , "Work smarter, work with Carter". We are actually gearing up for the changes that we are sure that Carter is going to implement and we are trying to be leaner, meaner, and generally more efficient. It would seem that my firm fits in to the profile (if the CLSA questionnaire results are representative of all criminal practices) of 2% firms!


Bystander said...

I wish you luck - you are going to need it.

This Government's view of the criminal justice system seems to stress the price of everything and the value of nothing.

I fear that the climate will become increasingly oppressive for those at the bottom of the heap.

Anonymous said...

...And still all these months later, certain of us are now at the end of our careers in Criminal defence. I hope that those of you who are still 'hanging in there', remember that although the initial solidarity may have dissipated, there are some who went into this profession and area of law with the best of intentions, are still relitively young, and yet have lost a career as a result of the recent changes... I am so sad that this is the way 'forward' for this area of law. Yours, another newly redundant Criminal practitioner.