The LAA announced this week that the Client and Cost Management System (CCMS) will become mandatory for new civil applications and bills from 1 October 2015. The LAA has served notice under clause 20 of the Standard Civil Contract. Organisations should have received formal notification by email, which should be confirmed by post by the end of January.
The LAA says it is giving greater notice than strictly required under the contract to give practitioners time to train and get used to the new system gradually. Feedback from practioners suggests that the LAA also needs to undertake development in order to make the system work well before it becomes mandatory. Resolution has been leading the representative bodies in pressing the LAA for improvements in functionality.
The LAA has made online training modules available which take practitioners through the relevant stages:
- Getting access to the system
- Starting to use the system
- Support available
In addition, they have provided face to face sessions in a number of practices. Resolution has provided a comprehensive guide for its members, based on the experience of members in the north east who were involved in the pilot.
CCMS means the way you deal with legal aid administration will have to change significantly. Practitioners would be well advised to take full advantage of the lead in period before October.