In response to the announcement about legal aid fees by the Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Humza Yousaf MSP, Amanda Millar, President of the Law Society of Scotland, said: “This proposal is a positive response from the Cabinet Secretary for Justice to our representations over many months, and years, about support for the legal aid sector. I am pleased that he has recognised our point that this is not simply an issue caused by the pandemic. The 10% across the board uplift in fees over the next two financial years is a start towards addressing three decades of underinvestment, but it is only the start. I look forward to receiving more details about the criteria for the Covid Resilience Fund to reach those legal aid practitioners who have been hardest hit by the pandemic.

“Thank you again to the Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen Bar Associations for their engagement alongside us in recent weeks to emphasise the impact this has on the profession. Legal aid is a vital service to our communities. One which is often only truly appreciated when people have need of it themselves. I know that legal aid practitioners are passionate about access to justice, representing and supporting the vulnerable in the society in which we all live. In our view this is an essential service to the public and the Law Society remains committed to continuing to work with the Scottish Government and others to ensure a sustainable future for legal aid.”