Tag Archives: certificates

LAA amends standard costs limits

The LAA is to increase the default costs limits on a range of civil certificates. The new limits are:

  • Actions against the police etc – £6,000
  • Community care – £3,500
  • Immigration and asylum- £4,500
  • Mental health – £5,000
  • Special Children Act cases – £9,000

The new higher limits apply only to substantive cases within the category, not to judicial review. Certificates for judicial review cases, and for categories not listed above, remain at existing default limits. The process for applying to amend a costs limit hasn’t changed, but the LAA hopes fewer applications will be necessary.

Emergency certificates remain at a default limit of £1,350 – though you can exercise the delegated function to amend the cost limit up to £10,000 as long as it is to do urgent work and the emergency certificate hasn’t expired or been subsumed into a substantive one.

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Filed under Actions Against the Police, Community Care, Costs, Family, Immigration, Mental Health

Changes to certificate costs limits

Following the October fee cuts, the LSC have made changes to the default costs limits for civil legal aid certificates. The announcement is here, and the table of revised limits here. These changes take effect from today.

The standard limit for childcare cases (acting for a child or parent in care or supervision order cases) has been increased from £5,000 to £10,000. A series of other civil proceedings types – see the list in Annex A of the LSC table – have been reduced by 10%, for example from £2500 to £2250 for a substantive certificate and £1500 to £1350 for an emergency certificate. Proceedings types other than those in Annex A remain unchanged. Similar reductions for family certificates will follow in February.

You should check certificates received carefully to ensure that you are working to the correct costs limitations. Also, remember that you can issue an emergency certificate under devolved powers (if you have them) or subsequently amend it to a higher cost limit than the default, to a maximum of £10,000. Similarly, you can apply for a higher opening limit than the default for a substantive certificate if justifiable.

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Filed under Civil, Costs, Family, Immigration, Social welfare

Emergency certificates now last for 8 weeks

As we have previously reported, the LSC’s processing times have slipped further and further behind their targets.

One consequence is that, when practitioners use devolved powers to grant emergency certificates, the LSC has taken several weeks to consider the application for the full certificate. As emergency certificates only last four weeks, this has resulted, in many cases, in their expiry before the issue of the full certificate. As a result, solicitors have not known whether they have funding to continue work – and crucially, clients are potentially without costs protection in the gap if the full certificate is not backdated.

The LSC have therefore announced that any emergency certificate granted on or after 1st May 2011 will now last eight weeks not four.

You should, however, continue to keep an eye on the processing times on the LSC website. Where the LSC does not keep to its published performance targets, the complaints procedure can be found here.

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Filed under Civil, Costs, Family, Immigration, Social welfare