Payment for legal aid work
The LSC are offering two new ways of being paid for legal aid work done under contract (criminal police station and magistrates court work, and civil Legal Help). Providers can stay on the current arrangements, or opt for variable payments (get paid for what you claim) or a narrower reconciliation band (5% instead of the current 10%). Each provider will need to think carefully about which option to choose; which you go for will depend very much on your own circumstances. More information is available here, and the form to request a change to your arrangements is here.
Legal aid bill
Days 3 and 4 of the House of Lords Committee Stage took place last week, with near unanimous criticism of the terms of the bill met with rigidity by ministers. The Gazette is reporting a small concession affecting Special Educational Needs cases, but otherwise there have been no changes agreed. Hansard reports of the debates can be found on the Parliament website (day 3 and day 4).
Prior authority for experts
Requests to exceed the capped rates for experts in post-October cases should be sent to the Cardiff office of the LSC.
New civil and criminal forms become mandatory from 1st February. See the forms section – civil or criminal – of the LSC website for more.
New Criminal Legal Aid Manual
The Manual – which details how applications for criminal legal aid and eligibility checks are dealt with – has been updated. The new Manual is here and a note of the key changes is here.
LSC Reading Office
The Reading office has moved; new contact details can be found here.
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