A day in the life of court-hopping criminal solicitor

20 June 2023

BBC News, By Dominic Casciani, Home and legal correspondent

There are “defence deserts” in parts of England and Wales because lawyers have been quitting the profession, BBC News has been told. The warning comes as the Law Society, which represents criminal solicitors, prepares to go to court over pay – saying duty solicitors are struggling to make the system work.

There may be bottlenose dolphins frolicking in Cardigan Bay, on the west coast of Wales – but that’s far from the mind of criminal solicitor Katy Hanson, as she begins her morning. It’s 8am and she’s got calls asking her to get to a court, which is 30 miles (50km) away. It’s going to be a long day

Katy is already behind the wheel of her car and raring to get out of Cardigan, in Ceredigion, where her firm is based.

Welcome to the world of a duty defence solicitors – one of the busiest and most challenging roles in justice.

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