Yesterday we saw the ironic court scene of Alexander Cameron QC, the Prime Minister's brother, arguing that the trial of a £4.5m fraud case should be delayed as a result of the inability of the defendants to access lawyers prepared to defend them under the new Legal Aid rules. Barristers have effectively said, "if that's what the rate is, no thanks".
The drama is even more bizarre in that Alex Cameron had decided to argue that the case could not continue, without charging for his fee!
From a procurement perspective this reminds us of three strategies:
- Poistioning relative power of the buyer/supplier relationship. The barristers have the power to sell their services outside the Legal Aid system, so they can walk away without great pain;
- A focus on price reduction can compromise delivery. The suppliers in this case have said to MoJ the price you are prepared to pay is not attractive enough for us to deliver; and
- Achieving 'preferred customer' disorts the market in favour of the buyer. In this example, Alex Cameron delivered his services free of charge.