Clegg opposes plans to remove people’s choice over their solicitor

A smart interview by Nick Thornsby of Lib Dem Voice (and a lawyer himself) with Nick Clegg yesterday has elicited this:

Clegg wades into Cabinet legal aid row as he insists people should be able to choose their solicitor

The Liberal Democrat leader said it was ‘perverse’ to stop people choosing their own solicitor and claimed small high street law firms would suffer – rather than the ‘fat cat QCs’ targeted by Justice Secretary Chris Grayling.

Asked about the reforms by lawyer and Lib Dem activist Nick Thornsby in Manchester yesterday, Mr Clegg said: ‘You could say it’s perverse that a Government with Conservatives in it is reducing public choice rather than increasing it.

‘The only straitjacket on all of this is the need to yield about £220 million of savings in legal aid in criminal cases.

‘But on the back of the consultation we should see if there are alternative, less disruptive, less unpopular ways of delivering that.’

The comments come after the Conservative Attorney-General [Dominic Grieve] came out on the side of lawyers who are angry at the changes.

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