2015 Legal Aid and 2014 Recap
2015 brings in some major changes for Legal Aid Solicitors in the way that they apply for and bill under Legal Aid, due to the expansion of the LAA’s Client and Cost Management System (CCMS). Towards the end of 2014 he LAA announced that they had now invited all Legal Aid Solicitors to begin using CCMS. Although the LAA did not give a date when usage of the system for new cases would become mandatory, more and more firms of solicitors are beginning to use the system in anticipation of this. We have been advising our clients in relation to using this system and also on how cost draftsmen can access the system on a solicitors behalf and prepare claims for payment thereby freeing solicitors to undertake other work. We are now actively using CCMS and have prepared Bills for several clients.
Here are a few changes/updates which occurred in 2014 in relation to Legal Aid matters which it may be helpful to remember.
One of the most significant changes which occurred in 2014 was the reduction of Care rates and Care Fixed Fees for Legal Aid Certificates issued from 22 April 2014 (which came along with the introduction of the single Family Court). These reductions apply to section 31 Children Act 1989 Care or Supervision proceedings only.
The Local Authority confirmed for Legal Aid Certificates issued from 01 September 2014 that local travel would no longer be payable. Local travel defined is defined as travel carried out by providers within a 10 mile radius of the Court.
In 2014 the LAA updated their Claim 1 and Claim 1A forms in respect of evidence needed for Experts’ Fees. The LAA now require details of the other parties responsible for any shared Experts’ Fees to include the parties’ names, their solicitors details, the parties’ Legal Aid number and their percentage share of the fee.
If you have any questions in relation to the above, queries in relation to billing on CCMS or would like to use as your costs draftsman, please call me on 01228 815396 or click here to email me.