The Bar Council has welcomed confirmation from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) that the fee increases for prosecution work will apply to hearings in existing and new cases from 2 May 2023.
In a letter to Bar leaders from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the Interim Chief Executive of the CPS, the following changes were outlined:
- 15% increase for all CPS fee rates, including the Graduated Fee Scheme (GFS), the Very High Cost Case (VHCC) fee scheme, and magistrates’ court and Youth court fee arrangements
- Introduction of a 10% case uplift for sentence hearings where multiple cases are sentenced on the same day
- Introduction of a new fixed fee of £670 ex. VAT for section 28 cases – equivalent to that now paid under the Advocate Graduated Fee Scheme (SI 2023 No. 97)
- Increase to VHCC Led Junior rates to pay the equivalent of the revised VHCC Junior Alone rates
- Streamlined Forensic Reports included within the GFS page count
Chair of the Bar Nick Vineall KC, said:
“We welcome the news that CPS fee increases will be implemented from the start of May. The disparity in fees between prosecution and defence had led to a worrying shortage in the availability of prosecutors, with cases across England and Wales being adjourned as a result.
“The Bar Council and the Criminal Bar Association have worked together firstly to make strong representations to the Treasury to secure the necessary additional funding, and secondly to help shape the new package.
“Criminal barristers have suffered from many years of underfunding in the system and so we also welcome the commitment from the CPS to continue to engage with the Bar on remuneration to ensure fee schemes are fit for purpose.”
The full detail of the new arrangements will be published on the CPS website in advance of implementation.