Legal Aid Agency chief’s pay rise draws criticism

The Guardian reports that Matthew Coats, the chief executive of the Legal Aid Agency, received a pay rise of more than 10% this year.  Based on figures from the LAA’s annual report, the newspaper states that Mr Coats’ combined salary, bonus and pension benefits rose from between £195,000 and £200,000 in 2014, to between £220,000 and £225,000 this year.  The report makes clear that the remuneration covers Coats’ role at both the LAA and his position as director-general of corporate services at the MoJ.  However, the pay increase has attracted criticism as legal aid budgets are progressively cut.  President of the LCCA, Jonathan Black, has stated it as “an insult to members of the profession who work late nights in police stations at reduced rates and who are facing job insecurity.”