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The reform of Legal Aid in England and Wales

  • Neil Rickman
  • Paul Fenn
  • Alastair Gray

Legal aid expenditure has risen dramatically in recent years, prompting attention from successive governments. A prominent theme of past and present government reform proposals has been the shifting of risk away from the taxpayer towards lawyers, clients and insurers by altering the means by which legal aid lawyers are paid. This paper explores this theme by presenting information on legal aid expenditure trends over the last two decades and then considering whether payment mechanisms have contributed to this performance. Finally, it reviews previous and current reform proposals in this area. It concludes that, because risk-shifting also alters incentives, it is essential that reform recognises and monitors these.

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File URL: http://www.ifs.org.uk/fs/articles/0008a.pdf
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Article provided by Institute for Fiscal Studies in its journal Fiscal Studies.

Volume (Year): 20 (1999)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 261-286

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Handle: RePEc:ifs:fistud:v:20:y:1999:i:3:p:261-286
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  1. Tony Culyer, 1989. "Cost-containment in Europe," Working Papers 062chedp, Centre for Health Economics, University of York.
  2. Frank H. Stephen & James H. Love & Alan A. Patterson, 1994. "Deregulation of conveyancing markets in England and Wales," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 15(4), pages 102-18, November.
  3. Antony Dnes & Neil Rickman, 1998. "Contracts for Legal Aid: A Critical Discussion of Government Policy Proposals," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 247-265, May.
  4. Gravelle, Hugh & Waterson, Michael, 1993. "No Win, No Fee: Some Economics of Contingent Legal Fees," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(420), pages 1205-20, September.
  5. B. Douglas Bernheim & Michael D. Whinston, 1985. "Common Marketing Agency as a Device for Facilitating Collusion," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 16(2), pages 269-281, Summer.
  6. Fenn, Paul & Rickman, Neil, 1999. "Delay and Settlement in Litigation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(457), pages 476-91, July.
  7. Gray, Alastair M, 1994. "The Reform of Legal Aid," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(1), pages 51-67, Spring.
  8. Rickman, Neil, 1994. "The Economics of Contingency Fees in Personal Injury Litigation," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(1), pages 34-50, Spring.
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