What’s happening on 2 December?

Practitioners may well have been none the wiser when they received the latest email from the LAA to inform them that they would be providing some training in advance of forthcoming changes, as they didn’t actually say what they are going to be…….

However, it looks as though they are laying regulations to implement some of the ‘Transforming Legal Aid’ changes. Just to remind us all the first consultation paper was published in April and the response was published in September.

The Government decided to consult further on some proposals, modify some then implement them, and implement others without amendment. Having gone back through the September ‘Next Steps’ document – it looks as though we can expect the following:

Late 2013 – so probably expected 2 December – subject to Parliamentary approval:

  • Removing legal aid for ‘borderline’ civil cases
  • Removing the uplift in the rate paid for immigration and asylum Upper Tier Tribunal cases
  • Reforming experts fees – subject to some recent increases and limiting the reduction in rates payable to interpreters outside London
  • Reducing the scope of Prison Law but allowing legal aid for proceedings before the Parole Board in which it has the power to direct release
  • Harminising fees paid to self employed barristers with those paid to other advocates appearing in civil non-family cases
  • Reducing the use of multiple advocates in criminal cases
  • Reducing litigator and advocate fees in crime VHCCs by 30% – although it has been reported that this may slip

Further consultation has been conducted in respect of

  • Payment for permission work in JR cases
  • Reducing the fixed representation fees paid to solicitors in family cases covered by the care proceedings graduated fee scheme (implementation expected April 2014)
  • Crime tendering – the LAA has dropped the proposal for price competition and accepts that clients should be able to choose their representative but is consulting on an alternative tendering model and some fee cuts

For implementation early in 2014

  • Residence test – with modifications
  • New financial eligibility threshold in the Crown Court

1 Comment

Filed under Civil, Crime, Family, Housing, Immigration, Policy, Uncategorized

One response to “What’s happening on 2 December?

  1. Pingback: More on 2nd December – and into January | Legal Aid Handbook

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