LONDON (AP) — Hundreds of British lawyers — many dressed in traditional white curled wigs and black gowns — swapped courtrooms for picket lines Monday to protest planned cuts to legal aid.

Cases were disrupted at courts including London’s famous Old Bailey criminal court as barristers in England and Wales staged their first national walkout. Only one of 18 courts at the Old Bailey managed to hold a sitting during the half-day strike.

The British government, which has slashed billions from public spending in the name of deficit reduction, plans to cut lawyers’ fees to reduce the legal aid budget by 220 million pounds ($360 million) by 2019.

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