The Law Society and the Faculty of Advocates have rejected a call for an enquiry into affordable justice. At the risk of being sued, well its no risk really because I'm skint, I would simply ask readers to go to the website of the Scottish Legal Aid Board and have a root around until you find a complete listing of all of the amounts paid out in legal aid to both firms of solicitors and individual advocates. It's all on the website year by year in their reports but you have to dig deep to get at it. When you do you will see that some of these people are greedy beyond belief.
There is one advocate of distinctive appearance in 2003/4 who earned over £305,000 including VAT according to the legal aid board. I believe he might do a bit of cabaret to make ends meet. I've seen the video if you get my drift (that joke was strictly for Scottish readers in case you are mystified).
Over £100,000 is not uncommon and several others top £200,000 including some who threatened to strike for higher fees in 2005. Now I would normally be inclined to support strikes (it's a red thing) but I think I might not have given that one my best efforts.
The other thing to remember is that these are only payments from the Scottish Legal Aid Board, in other words, this is what they were paid for representing people who had not the means to pay, so I assume it does not include corporate work, work on public enquiries, work for the better off, or work on behalf of the Crown as advocate deputes in charge of prosecutions rather than defence.
We are starting to see why an enquiry into affordable justice might just be a good idea. I wonder how much they earn in total. Some of them must be on nearly a million pounds a year and that is obscene when legal aid is being cut back for poor people who find it increasingly difficult to enforce their rights against corporate bodies who can afford a long strung out defense (such as the tobacco manufacturers have used in the USA for years, don't let it come here).