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The controversial subsumption of additional work by solicitors undertaking the post-Cadder police station duty scheme work is to be scrapped following a meeting with the Justice Minister.
The Law Society negotiating team met with Kenny MacAskill yesterday.
The issue had become a bone of contention as the duty scheme required solicitors to undertake work through the night and subsume the costs into any legal aid fees generated at a later date, should they ultimately receive instruction in the case.
At the meeting yesterday MacAskill has agreed to formalise the abolition of subsumption via the parliamentary process. The solution will include a formalisation of the system to ensure that a nominated solicitor receives the first call from a detained suspect. Under the present scheme an alternative solicitor can be called to attend, from the PDSO if necessary.
"The Society has raised a number of concerns about the scheme and its operation with SLAB and with the government - a scheme is not necessary at this stage, the role of the solicitor of choice is compromised, the costs of the scheme may be disproportionate and the effects of subsumption cause diminish already reduced fixed fees," the Law Society had said prior to the meeting.
The Law Society wrote to MacAskill in June explaining that "issues remain around subsumption," introduced by the Scottish Government in 2008.
An insider who attended the meeting said the decision meant SLAB had been "effectively humiliated".
An announcement on the new arrangement is expected later today.
The input of the Scottish Legal Aid Board has been requested for this story.
An earlier version of this story stated that subsumption was introduced by the Scottish Legal Aid Board, and not the Scottish Government. This error has now been corrected.