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04 FEB 2008

LSC doesn't want to return to the courts over the Unified Contract

Following the Law Society's announcement last week that it intends issue further judicial review proceedings to oblige the Legal Services Commission (LSC) to comply with the declaration of the Court of Appeal's judgment on the Unified Contract, the LSC has stated that it would like to resolve their differences without recourse to the courts.

In a statement the LSC said it "does not believe that it is necessary, or desirable, for this matter to be resolved by the courts."

Commenting on the discussions, Carolyn Regan, Chief Executive of the LSC, said:

"We recognise that the Court of Appeals decision on the application of the EU Procurement Regulations does change the nature of the relationship between the LSC and its providers, and the way in which we will need to frame our contractual relationships in the future.

"Our objective remains to achieve a legal aid scheme that is sustainable in the long term: one that ensures access to good quality legal services for clients, a stable and sustainable future for providers and value for money for the taxpayer.

"We believe that those objectives are most likely to be achieved if we can now provide a period of business stability and certainty for providers, and time for us to work together to develop the basis of the new contractual relationship that we will need to achieve."

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