In this update:
- Legal aid and the Olympics
- Assessing the means of prisoners
- Devolved powers for judicial review
- Why LGFS claims are rejected
- LSC release annual statistics
- Calling the LSC
- Regulation of solicitors in NfPs
In this update:
Payment for legal aid work
The LSC are offering two new ways of being paid for legal aid work done under contract (criminal police station and magistrates court work, and civil Legal Help). Providers can stay on the current arrangements, or opt for variable payments (get paid for what you claim) or a narrower reconciliation band (5% instead of the current 10%). Each provider will need to think carefully about which option to choose; which you go for will depend very much on your own circumstances. More information is available here, and the form to request a change to your arrangements is here.
Legal aid bill
Days 3 and 4 of the House of Lords Committee Stage took place last week, with near unanimous criticism of the terms of the bill met with rigidity by ministers. The Gazette is reporting a small concession affecting Special Educational Needs cases, but otherwise there have been no changes agreed. Hansard reports of the debates can be found on the Parliament website (day 3 and day 4).
Prior authority for experts
Requests to exceed the capped rates for experts in post-October cases should be sent to the Cardiff office of the LSC.
New civil and criminal forms become mandatory from 1st February. See the forms section – civil or criminal – of the LSC website for more.
New Criminal Legal Aid Manual
The Manual – which details how applications for criminal legal aid and eligibility checks are dealt with – has been updated. The new Manual is here and a note of the key changes is here.
LSC Reading Office
The Reading office has moved; new contact details can be found here.
The Community Legal Service (Financial) (Amendment) Regulations 2011 come into force today. They amend the 2001 Regulations (PDF) to add to Reg 3(1) that the following services (relating to enforcement of child maintenance agreements in other EU states) are available without reference to the client’s financial resources:
(ga) Legal Help, Legal Representation, Family Help (Lower) and Family Help (Higher) for a creditor making an application under Article 56(1) of the Maintenance Regulation concerning a maintenance obligation towards a person under the age of 21 arising from a parent-child relationship;
(gb) Legal Representation or Family Help (Higher), in proceedings under the Maintenance Regulation for recognition, registration or enforcement of a maintenance decision, for a party to those proceedings who, in the country in which that decision was made and in relation to that decision, benefitted from—
(i)complete or partial assistance with, or exemption from, costs or expenses; or
(ii)free proceedings before an administrative authority listed in Annex X to the Maintenance Regulation;”
To the definitions in Reg 3(2) is added:
(a) after the definitions of “control order” and “control order proceedings” insert—
““creditor” has the meaning given by Article 2 of the Maintenance Regulation;”
(b) after the definition of “Hague Convention country” insert—
““maintenance decision” has the meaning given to “decision” by Article 2 of the Maintenance Regulation”;
(c) after the definition of “the Maintenance Orders (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act 1972” insert—
““Maintenance Regulation” means Council Regulation (EC) No 4/2009 of 18th December 2008 on jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition and enforcement of decisions and cooperation in matters relating to maintenance obligations, including as applied in relation to Denmark by virtue of the Agreement made on 19th October 2005 between the European Community and the Kingdom of Denmark.
Filed under Family