The news that the Criminal Bar Association (CBA) is calling off its direct action after the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) agreed to postpone planned barrister fee cuts has enraged many lawyers, who have turned to social media to vent their fury.
Criminal solicitors, understandably, feel betrayed by a deal that leaves them exposed to the worst of the cuts, with a reduction of 17.5% to their fees.
Sad day as Barristers and Solicitors stop acting as a unified profession! We kind of need each other to survive! !!
— Hippychick52 (@hippychick52) March 27, 2014
So it seems the CBA have sold us Criminal Solicitor firms down the swanny! #bitethehandthatfeeds
— Darran Grace (@DarGee88) March 27, 2014
Many barristers are unhappy at the deal too and have sought to show solidarity.
Disappointing news from the Bar but realise that position from the top is not the position from the trenches…
— crimsolicitor_ (@Crimsolicitor_) March 27, 2014
Cowardly capitulation by @TheCriminalBar – not in my name!
— drea becker (@dreabecker) March 27, 2014
Some will even still be going on strike again.
— Simon Baker (@SimonBaker97) March 27, 2014
One of the big gripes among barristers is that the CBA didn’t ask them first before coming to its arrangement with the MoJ, which sees the planned 6% cut to fees paid to advocates in Crown Court cases delayed until after the election.
@TheCriminalBar once again let down by the CBA, no right to suspend action until we have had the opportunity to have a meeting and a vote.
— Mark McDonald (@markmcdonalduk) March 27, 2014
@TheCriminalBar first no consultation with rank & file, now silence when we demand answers. This is unacceptable and utterly disappointing.
— Victoria Gainza (@VictoriaGainza) March 27, 2014
Meanwhile, the usually very active and feisty CBA Twitter account has fallen silent.
So, to summarise…
— Barrister Meme (@BarristerMeme) March 27, 2014
All in all, quite a result for Justice Secretary Chris Grayling…
Grayling could not have hoped for a better-timed capitulation on the eve of action by solicitors and probation workers.
— carnybull (@carnybull) March 27, 2014
…who is closer to the legal establishment than many realise.
UPDATE: The Criminal Bar Association has responded to anger over its deal with the Ministry of Justice by announcing that it will ballot its members on whether to continue their protest action [Law Society Gazette]