The controversial reforms being put in place by the Ministry of Justice covering criminal legal aid appear to be proceeding. Whatever the merits or problems of the reforms, many criminal legal aid practices are gearing themselves towards responding effectively to the tendering exercise that will be run in the near future. This is expected to reduce the number of contracted practices from the current 1,600 firms to just 400 and the removal of the defendants right to choose their legal representative.
For those firms who intend to compete for the contracts in each of the 42 areas that the MoJ has defined, a tendering exercise will be held resulting in the award of contracts of 3 years, with an option to extend the contracts for a further 2 years. Clearly, not being awarded a contract will represent significant challenges for criminal legal aid practices – they will have to rely solely on privately funded criminal defence work.
Running an efficient and effective practice will help firms to offer a more competitive service, and enable firms to have a greater chance of success in the competitive tendering exercise. There are many ways to achieve greater efficiencies, including having partners working with you who can improve your case handling and speed of response, provision of electronic reports and statements, e-enabled case conferences and an outstanding level of assistance to solicitors and Barristers.
IntaForensics have been a pioneer in the digital forensics industry in efficient and effective case management, ensuring that firms can meet tight timescales without compromising on the quality of the service they provide to their clients. We can deploy a number of innovations to our criminal law clients which will help you to run your practice efficiently against a backdrop of a changing Legal Aid system, including:
- Online requests for quotations – allowing fast response to your requests
- Secure interactive case logs accessible through your web-browser, allowing communication directly with the forensic scientist working on your cases
- Choices of face to face or online hosted client conferences to review reports and analyses
- Full logistical support, liaising with the Police or other agencies holding exhibits and evidential material on your behalf
All of the above innovative methods of delivering expert services to you come alongside the expertise and quality of our work. Our extensive team of digital forensic scientists have over 140 years of combined experience in IT, Forensic Investigations, Litigation and Criminal fields. All of our staff are security vetted by the UK government, and all are trained and equipped to provide evidence in tribunals and courts in a wide range of matters.
If you intend to bid for a contract under Price Competitive Tendering, why not consult with IntaForensics as one of your partners to see if we can add value to your tender response, and thereby give your firm an advantage in the tendering process. We are very keen to work with firms in this new, challenging environment.