Legal Aid Fees Dispute: “necessary to go outside Northern Ireland to bring in other lawyers”?

As the BBC reports, Northern Ireland Justice Minister, Alliance Party leader, David Ford, has detailed the number of cases where solictors have come “off record” to date in the dispute over legal aid fees [134 between 13 April and 27 May].  Although the Minister adds that

It is not the court practice to record the reason given by a solicitor for coming off record so it is not possible to state categorically that all of these cases represent the outcome of a protest against the introduction of the new legal aid fees.

Indeed.  And the same BBC report notes the NI Justice Minister’s additional comments [in the Assembly?]

He said he was trying to see which solicitors and barristers in Northern Ireland were prepared to carry out the “normal range of legal aid work under the new rates”.

Mr Ford added that as some said they would not do that, he had to see if it was “necessary to go outside Northern Ireland to bring in other lawyers”.

[‘Brits’ in, then? – Ed]  You might very well think that…

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