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By Wayne Williams

Defendant Cost Orders 1 OCT 2012 - Client Care Letter

Defendant Cost Order

As you will know, privately paying Crime clients who are ultimately acquitted, in some circumstances are awarded "from central funds".

However, new rules were introduced on 1st October 2012 that limit when and how much (if any) of their costs and expenses (e.g. expert witness fees), they can recover.

By Wayne Williams

LSC ITT for Tender

LSC will publish its ITT for Family  Face to Face Tender etc tomorrow 14th Sept 2012.

By Wayne Williams

LSC give 2nd chance to submit PQQ

Civil PQQ - A second chance!

The Legal Services Commission is giving a second chance to those firms who missed their PQQ deadline or made errors in their submission.


By Wayne Williams

Goodbye LSC!......and goodbye Civil & Family Legal Aid??

Just 13 years on and the LSC is to be replaced by the Legal Aid Agency on 1st April 2013.

Those whose client care letters still refer to the Legal Aid Board (or indeed Law Society) can skip an update and move straight to the LAA next year. Will we ever get used to saying LAA as opposed to LSC. Will LAA evoke the same emotions in legal aid practitioners as "the LSC"? Only time will tell.

The Legal Aid Bill passed into law on 1st May 2012 as the "Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012". [LASPO]

The new Act seems to focus Alternative Dispute Resolution and introduces the most radical reductions in "scope" we have seen

By Wayne Williams

Second Chance for Family Law Tender

Those Firms who failed to obtain a contract in the last Family  tender round, because they made a mistake on the tendering forms, now have a second chance.

By Wayne Williams



 The LSC has now published its post-consultation Family Tender amendments and timetable

By Wayne Williams

New Family Procedure Rules

New Family Procedure Rules 6th April 2011

All Family Practitioners need to be aware that the new Family Procedure Rules came into effect today 6th April.

These apply to all part of the Family Court including the Magistrates' Court, County Court and High Court.

New Practice Directions and Forms have been issued which should be used from today.

By Wayne Williams

Civil Legal Aid Scope Cuts - MOJ Review

 Civil Legal Aid Scope Cuts Announced

The 14th February 2011 could become a modern day, Valentine Day's Massacre of the Legal Aid Scheme.

It has major implications for Access to Justice and yet again undermines the sustainability of Legal Aid law firms.

A lot of work is taken out of scope of legal aid entirely and that which remains will be subject to 10% cuts in fees paid.

Justice Secretary, Ken Clarke, has announced proposals for radical scope cuts in Civil Legal Aid.

The aim is to provide legal aid only if life and liberty are at risk.

The proposals, which will be open for consultation until 14th Feb 2011, could wipe out up to £350m in fees from the revenue of legal aid firms.

By Wayne Williams

Legal Aid Reform Crime

Legal Aid Reform - Crime

Section 6, of the proposals for the Reform of Legal Aid in England & Wales, deals with the proposed changes in Criminal Fees.

We summarise the main proposals below:

Price Competitive Tendering

6.2 - Still intention to move to price competitive tendering for Crime first then Civil and Family

6.54 There will be a further consultation paper on this in 2011 with selected areas being opened to price competitive tendering during 2011 and contracts in effect in those areas by 2012. There would be a rolling timetable for other areas.

By Wayne Williams

Legal Aid Reforms - FAMILY

Legal Aid Reforms - FAMILY

It is perhaps worth noting that at paragraph 4.277, the MOJ propose to expand the CLA telephone service to include an option for paid-for advice services for clients who are ineligible for legal aid.

The following cases are to be removed from scope:

Ancillary Relief

4.158 Other than Family Mediation all ancillary cases are to be removed from scope unless there is domestic violence present (see below)

By Wayne Williams

The New Post Tender Paradigm

Legal Aid Tenders - a better way forward

It is time to review "total system cost" in the implementation of these changes. The "hidden waste" in time and costs at the courts, for example, of changes in legal aid scope and availability of a qualified advocate are never measured but cannot be insignificant.

By Wayne Williams

Fundamental Review of Legal Aid

 The new Coaltion Government announces a Fundamental Review of Legal Aid

  • We will carry out a fundamental review of Legal Aid to make it work more efficiently.