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.