§ Mr. Dismore
To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what recent assessment she has made of the value for money for fees payable in legal aid cases to(a) junior counsel and (b) QCs; and if she will make a statement. 
§ Ms Rosie Winterton
In determining remuneration the Lord Chancellor is required to consider three statutory factors under section 25(3) of the Access to Justice Act 1999: (a) the need to secure the provision of services of the description to which the order relates by a sufficient number of competent persons and bodies; (b) the cost to public funds; and (c) the need to secure value for money. Recent remuneration measures under that Act have therefore considered value for money.
In publicly funded family work, the Lord Chancellor introduced the Family Graduated Fees Scheme for junior and Queen's Counsel, on 1 May 2001. The scheme provides for set fees, graduated to take account of complexity and specific issues in the case. In criminal cases, regulations introduced in September 2000 have controlled more tightly the circumstances where QCs or more than one advocate might be allowed for the defence in Crown court cases. Individual case contracts have been introduced in high cost cases. These secure the provision of legal services at a fixed price. New regulations, to be introduced in October, will extend the existing 10-day advocates graduated fees scheme for Crown court trials to cases lasting up to 25 days.