The government has made the criminal Bar an offer. It’s a single package which will require new investment.
The decision to accept it or reject it will be yours in a ballot.
There are very significant immediate improvements to prosecution fees, (all the high value changes we have been publicly asking for, and in fact more than this):
- day 1 will be defined as the first day a trial is listed,
- day 2 will be paid as a full separate refresher,
- refreshers will not be reduced from day 41,
- all fixed fees will be increased to AGFS rates (eg £55 TNPs will increase to £380, appeals against conviction will increase from £117 to £250, standard appearance fees increase from £46.50 to £90, and sentence fees from £60 to £125),
- trial fees will be payable immediately where the case is adjourned for sentence.
The full review of prosecution fees will continue and report by 30th September. We are confident that this review will lead to significant increases to many if not all brief fees, to reflect the greater demands of the work and the fact that there have been no increases for so long, and crucially there will be payment for unused material for the first time.
The MOJ has agreed to accelerate the review of AGFS Scheme 11 in respect of (1) high volumes of evidence (PPE) cases, (2) cracks, and (3) the payment of unused material, and will publish proposals to deal with these three areas by November. This means that new fees and structures will be in place at least a year earlier than had previously been envisaged, and it decouples the solutions to these serious problems from the wider review which will take much longer to deliver.