Commenting on the LSC’s response, Desmond Browne QC, Chairman of the Bar, said:

“Even though the LSC has decided to proceed with the pilot in Avon and Somerset and Greater Manchester, it is welcome news that the Commission has heeded the pleas of the Bar Council and the Law Society and decided not to roll out BVT more widely until 2013. We remain concerned that the LSC has not addressed our concerns about the discriminatory impact of their proposals on women and BME practitioners. In their original paper the LSC acknowledged the discriminatory nature of their proposals. Regrettably, what they now propose does not begin to redress that effect.

Finally, it is clearer than ever that this is not Best Value Tendering but what the Commission used to call price competitive tendering. Provided that practitioners meet a low entry threshold of quality, the tendering process will make no attempt to assess the quality of the service they offer.”