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Publish performance statistics for duty-solicitors

Comment 20th July 2010

With cuts to public legal funding duty solicitors have come to be on fixed fees and may be motivated to handle cases in the way which is quickest for them rather than best for the client.  According to the LSC one of the incentives for solicitors to do well is their reputation, spread by word of mouth amongst those might have frequent recourse to them.  This incentive would be greatly strengthened if duty solicitors outcomes were made publicly available.

The Legal Services commission does carry out peer-reviews on duty solicitors, which includes monitoring their rates of 'No Further Outcomes' (NFAs), but seems to go well beyond this.  It doesn't publish these because it has not done them for all solicitors and it would be unfair to publish for some only.  It might be a lot cheaper simply to collate NFA rates for all duty solicitors, which could then be published, rather than than to carry out full-peer reviews for some, which are not published.

Why does this matter?

This idea might improve the quality of legal assistance available to those accused of crimes AND save money. (It may mean that some duty solicitors would have to work a bit harder for their fixed fees.)

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