The LAA is to increase the default costs limits on a range of civil certificates. The new limits are:
- Actions against the police etc – £6,000
- Community care – £3,500
- Immigration and asylum- £4,500
- Mental health – £5,000
- Special Children Act cases – £9,000
The new higher limits apply only to substantive cases within the category, not to judicial review. Certificates for judicial review cases, and for categories not listed above, remain at existing default limits. The process for applying to amend a costs limit hasn’t changed, but the LAA hopes fewer applications will be necessary.
Emergency certificates remain at a default limit of £1,350 – though you can exercise the delegated function to amend the cost limit up to £10,000 as long as it is to do urgent work and the emergency certificate hasn’t expired or been subsumed into a substantive one.
The LAA has released a set of FAQs for the crime tender. The deadline for tender submissions is 15 September – remember to check your bid carefully as the LAA has made several changes to the documentation.
The Family Mediation Contract is due to expire on 31 October 2016. You should have received a letter from the LAA (sent on 14 July 2016) offering you an extension to 31 March 2018.
The deadline for returning the offer acceptance form is 23.59 on 4 August 2016. The LAA says that if you do not accept the offer in time, your contract will expire on 31 October 2016 and you will not be entitled to payment for work carried out after that date.
As the summer holidays are upon us, it is possible that the person who would normally deal with the LAA contract is away. It is important that action is taken within the deadline.
More information can be found here.
The has LAA opened the tender process for new crime contracts to start on 1 April 2017. It is not a competitive process and contracts will be awarded to all those meeting defined criteria, whether they hold a contract currently or not.
- Mandatory criteria, eg professional standing, payment of taxes etc
- Regulated by an appropriate professional body
- Hold the SQM (at least passing a ‘desktop’ audit for new applicants) or Lexcel
- Have an office meeting defined standards
- Employ a full time supervisor (Criminal Investigations and Proceedings, Prison Law, Appeals and Reviews, depending on the area of law)
- Meet a ratio of one supervisor to four other designated staff/caseworkers (six for prision law only)
- Organisations wanting to expand duty solicitors by more than 50% or, where they currently have none, engage 10 or more duty solicitors need to submit additional financial information and their business plan
- 8 August 2016 – Final date to ask questions about the tender (FAQs)
- 22 August 2016 – Replies to FAQs published
- Noon 15 September 2016 – CLOSING DATE to submit tenders
- November 2016 – Outcome notified
- 12 December 2016 – Deadline to passs verification for inclusion on the rota from 1 April 2017
- 23.59 13 January 2017 – Deadline to submit Duty Solicitor information and CRM12s
- 28 February 2017 – Deadline to submit tender verification
- 1 April 2017 – Contract start date
There is more information about the tender here.
The 2017 Standard Crime Contract can be found here.