Thu, 01 May 2014
His Honor Judge Leonard QC has halted a serious fraud trial after the defendants claimed they could not get adequate representation.
The case, which was brought last year by the Financial Conduct Authority against Scott Crawley and four other men, is a Very High Costs Case (VHCC) which requires skilled and experienced advocates. The government has recently cut the fees for VHCC's by 30%, and since then no barrister has signed a contract to undertake a VHCC at the reduced rate.
Judge Leonard QC said the defence had made "very substantial… but unsuccessful" efforts to find barristers to represent them.
He has stayed the proceedings against the five defendants.
A copy of the judgement can be found by clicking here