As of 31 October 2009, Regulations introduced by the Ministry of Justice came into force to introduce the notion of “costs capping” in criminal cases where defendants are acquitted or the prosecution dropped. In those circumstances, the costs of a privately paying defendant, which were previously recoverable at a “reasonable rate” from Central Funds, will in future be capped at legal aid rates set by the Lord Chancellor. This has caused a great deal of concern that defendants will not be able to afford to pay for legal advice in specialist areas of law, such as health and safety, and that as a result defendants may be forced to represent themselves or face a miscarriage of justice. Costs capping may impact on insurance premiums as panel rates are likely to be higher than legal aid rates – which are notoriously low – which leaves a defi cit which would need to be recouped by insurers. The Law Society has said the new scheme would leave defendants with “crippling costs” despite winning their cases and has fi led a judicial review seeking to overturn the Regulations. We will provide updates of the progress of the judicial review in future bulletins.