Letter: Norman Lamont's legal expenses

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The Independent Online
Sir: As I write, my colleagues in this solicitor's office are working to represent clients whose liberty may be at stake as a result of criminal charges; whose very lives may be in jeopardy if they are refused entry to this country; whose homes, marriages and jobs are at risk and who desperately need legal advice and support. For this work, the Treasury decrees that my firm may be paid pounds 45.75 per hour.

In today's press, I read that a partner in a firm of solicitors three miles from my office has demanded and received from the self-same Treasury payment of pounds 200 per hour, not for applying his mind to any legal problem of the slightest consequence, but for the doubtless onerous task of answering telephone calls from journalists.

There could be no better illustration of the sense of priorities with which this government approaches the provision of legal services to those in need of them.

Yours faithfully,

ROBIN LEWIS

Bindman & Partners

London, NW1

30 November

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