The Legal Aid Agency has written to all successful bidders asking them to submit verification evidence by 23.59 on Tuesday 8 December, if they want to do work from the revised new Own Client and Duty contract start date of 1 April 2016.
Firms that have already been asked to submit some verifiation evidence for their successful Duty bids are being asked for additional information, including completed Supervisor forms, whether for ‘crime only’ or prison law as part of their own client contract bid. There is only one Supervisor form for ‘crime only’ as opposed to the five forms under the 2010 contract. Forms can be found here.
The LAA will also carry out further checks on staffing, offices and implementation of the delivery plan submitted by successful bidders, in the run up to 1 April, where it can start Duty Contracts from that date.
1 April 2016
The LAA says it intends to start the new Own Client and Duty Contracts from 1 April 2016 where possible; but where this is not possible due to ongoing litigation, it will allocate work under ‘contingency duty rotas’ to those holding Own Client Contracts. Firms can opt out of being included on these rot as if they do not want to do duty work.
The Law Society has provided some useful information, including provisions between January and April for new firms not holding a 2010 Contract.