LAW firms across Gwent gathered outside Newport Magistrates’ Court yesterday to protest against cuts to legal aid.

Around 20 members of the legal profession voiced their opposition against the £215 million cuts to legal aid announced by Chris Grayling, the justice secretary last week. Legal aid fees are set to fall by 17.5 per cent for solicitors and six per cent for barristers. Keith Evans, 63, of Keith Evans and Co Solicitors, said: “With the 17.5 per cent cuts to criminal legal aid, the money is not viable to continue to represent those who need legal criminal aid.

“We are here today to show our unhappiness. It’s an attack on society.”

Mr Evans has been practising law in Newport for more than 40 years and said that the changes would not only affect poorer families but middle income families as well.

Scott Bowen, 37, of Keith Evans and Co, said: “This will affect middle income families the most. The eligibility for criminal legal aid is caped at £37,500, even if they find the money to be represented they are not going to be refunded if they’re acquitted.”