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FCA to appeal legal aid ruling

The FCA is seeking to appeal the controversial decision to throw out a land banking fraud case after legal aid cuts prevented the defendants from getting legal representation.

Yesterday Money Marketing reported that the case against five men charged with land banking fraud and had been thrown out by Southwark Crown Court on the grounds the defendants could not get proper legal representation. The case is the first to be thrown out as a result of the cuts to legal aid.

The Government has introduced a 30 per cent cut to fees paid to solicitors and barristers for “very high cost cases” as part of plans to cut £220m from the £2bn annual legal aid budget. The changes affect any case heard from the end of April.

‘Very high cost cases’ mean the trial is expected to last over 60 days.

In January, Money Marketing revealed lawyers had raised concerns the cuts would cause delays and miscarriages of justice in FCA court cases.

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Comments

There are 4 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Most interesting.

    I wonder how this might apply to those smaller advisers defending themselves in the Key Data case – should they decide to go to court.

    It is beginning to look like Mr Farrage is not the only one with egg on his face.

  2. Julian Stevens 3rd May 2014 at 8:44 am

    Shouldn’t the FCA be reviewing the excessive costs to consumers as a result of intermediaries trying to comply with its own endlessly expanding book of rules and regulations and its endless output of regulatory updates? Ah, no ~ according to Rory Percival, that’s our fault because we OVER-comply ~ though he gives no clues as to what corners we might safely cut without running the risk of not having done something or other that the regulator or the FOS may decide later that we should have. It’s an impossible lose/lose situation.

  3. Julian Stevens 5th May 2014 at 7:37 pm

    How much has this legal action cost, so far? What will be the cost of appealing the court’s ruling? Who pays these costs? Assuming the operators of these land banking schemes were/are unregulated and that their activities are therefore illegal, why have they not been referred to the CPS, instead of the FCA spending tens and probably hundreds of thousands of pounds extorted from firms who ARE authorised?

    As for Nigel Farage, he’d be an excellent choice to head up the much needed Statutory Independent Regulatory Oversight Committee to bring the FCA to heel. He’d get stuck right in and sort them out, with no messing about with political niceties.

  4. The FCA can’t get its head around the idea that everyone is entitled to legal representation and a fair hearing. But then why would they when their own culture is self preservation.

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