Mailshots and updates


You can find details below of all updates sent to the legal profession in 2014. They contain information about new developments and any changes in legal aid provision


The updates are shown in date order. To find a particular topic, use the website's Search tool to search the content of mailings.

Older mailshots and updates are also available through the sidebar menu on the left. Older mailshots are in Adobe Acrobat format - the Reader software is free and available from Adobe's website.


To receive updates please contact Receipts and Payments with your email address on 0131 240 2080 or by email.

Solicitors registered for civil legal aid contact civilregister@slab.org.uk.

Solicitors registered for criminal legal aid contact criminalregister@slab.org.uk.


Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

Annual update on the Quality Assurance Scheme for criminal legal assistance

This update provides details of the decisions taken and the findings relating to the Criminal Quality Assurance Scheme, for reviews which were considered between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2014. SLAB’s Criminal Quality Assurance Committee is committed to providing regular feedback to solicitors about the general findings from the peer reviews. This is the second update highlighting, in general terms, the issues and areas of good practice and the areas for improvement identified in the peer reviews considered between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2014.

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Thursday, Oct 23, 2014

Cover available for Social Work case conferences, child in care reviews, adoption matching panels

We have updated the 2011 Act Children’s Legal Assistance Handbook to clarify the position about the cover that can be made available to assist with Social Work Case Conferences, Child in Care Reviews, adoption matching panels and other such meetings.

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Thursday, Oct 09, 2014

Additional required information letters for incomplete Form 2s will no longer be sent

We continue to receive a high volume of poorly completed Form 2 applications with insufficient supporting financial documents. Failing to provide all the necessary information leads to a delay in obtaining a decision on the applicant’s legal aid application.

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Thursday, Oct 02, 2014

Selecting the correct unspecified hearing type

We continue to receive a large number of initial ABWOR applications with the incorrect children’s hearing type selected. Selecting the wrong unspecified hearing type can lead to delay and double-handling for both you and us as you will require to apply again using the correct unspecified hearing type.

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Thursday, Oct 02, 2014

Procedure and reasons for removal from normal account payment service standards

The following list contains reasons why SLAB may consider removing a solicitor or firm from our normal 30-day service standards for payment. The list is not exhaustive but provides general indicators of the type of issues which require more time spent on the assessment process.

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Wednesday, Oct 01, 2014

Template 37 - Guardianship

Following enquiries about our recent mailshot on template 37 we thought it would be useful to further clarify the removal of the ‘additional work’ item from the template.

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Thursday, Aug 14, 2014

Adults with Incapacity applications – Whose resources should you assess?

We receive enquiries from practitioners about whether a financial assessment is required in cases where an application is being made in respect of an incapable adult, when the subject matter is Adults with Incapacity and, if an assessment is required, whose resources should be taken into account. It is also an issue which is commonly identified in Quality Assurance reviews as being done incorrectly by firms.

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Thursday, Aug 14, 2014

Cost limits on grants of civil legal aid

All grants of civil legal aid where the application was lodged on or after 21 March 2013 are subject to a cost limit. We are seeing a steadily increasing number of accounts being submitted where a cost limit is in place. If your account exceeds the cost limit approved by us we will abate your account and restrict it to the level of the cost limit in place.

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Thursday, Aug 14, 2014

Immigration and asylum

We are currently undertaking a review of our approach to and guidance on cases dealing with immigration and asylum matters and will produce more guidance in due course. However, our initial work has identified some issues which we want to bring to your attention because they may impact on our ability to pay you for work you have done.

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Wednesday, Aug 06, 2014

Applicants should not wait for their application to be rejected to be told what supporting documentation to send with their Form 2

We continue to receive a high volume of poorly completed Form 2 applications with insufficient supporting financial documents. This is despite the fact that in recent years, we have taken considerable steps to revise the Form 2 and make it easier for people to complete and also make it clear what supporting information they should provide.

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Wednesday, Aug 06, 2014

Sending civil legal aid applications with out-of-date financial information will cause the application to be rejected

Applications for civil legal aid must contain up-to-date financial information. An application should be submitted as soon as possible after being signed by an applicant to ensure its processing isn’t delayed.

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Wednesday, Aug 06, 2014

Contribution based ESA/JSA – Applicants should complete a Form 2

If an applicant is receiving either an Employment Support Allowance or a Job Seekers’ Allowance which is contribution-based this is NOT a passporting benefit. It is important to note that although both ESA and JSA can be paid as either income-related or contribution-based, only the income-related or income-based variants of the benefit are passporting for legal aid and advice and assistance. This has been the case since these benefits were introduced a number of years ago.

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Wednesday, Aug 06, 2014

Advice and assistance template 37 - Guardianship

We have reviewed template 37 which included an additional work item to instruct and obtain a GP report.

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Thursday, Jul 17, 2014

Scottish Prison Service trial email bookings for solicitor’s visits to Edinburgh Prison

As part of our pilot, we have agreed with Scottish Prison Service to trial email bookings for solicitors making Video Conferencing visits to Edinburgh prison. This new procedure also applies to physical visits to Edinburgh Prison by solicitors not taking part in the Video Conferencing pilot.

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Friday, Jul 04, 2014

Chapter 33AA of the Ordinary Cause Rules

We have prepared the following update to give SLAB’s view on the application of the current table of fees to work under Chapter 33AA.

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Thursday, Jul 03, 2014

Children's legal assistance update

Selecting the correct unspecified hearing type. It is important that you select the correct unspecified hearing type when making an initial application for ABWOR. If the incorrect type is chosen it can result in delay and double-handling for both you and SLAB as you will need to apply again using the correct unspecified hearing type.

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Monday, Jun 23, 2014

Scottish Prison Service trial email bookings for solicitor’s visits to Polmont Prison

As part of our pilot, we have agreed with Scottish Prison Service to trial email bookings for solicitors making Video Conferencing visits to Polmont prison. This new procedure also applies to physical visits to Polmont Prison by solicitors not taking part in the Video Conferencing pilot.

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Friday, Jun 13, 2014

Update on the costs and use made of supported contact

After a number of queries were raised with us we have examined the costs and use made of supported contact.

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Wednesday, Jun 04, 2014

Importance of completing Client Online Mandate Forms – Advice and Assistance

During recent file checks we have come across a number of cases where practitioners have either not completed or have omitted to fully complete the appropriate advice and assistance online mandate/application forms. In the absence of either of these forms being fully completed, signed and dated by the client and the solicitor, no payment can be made from the Legal Aid Fund.

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Wednesday, Jun 04, 2014

Children's duty scheme 2014-2015 plans now online

The plans for the Children’s Duty Scheme covering the period 23 June 2014 to 21 June 2015 are now available on our website.

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Providers News

29, Oct, 2014

Edinburgh advice projects mark success of first year

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19, Oct, 2014

New projects to help families tackle money worries

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13, Oct, 2014

Police station duty scheme update

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02, Oct, 2014

Clarification on Faculty of Advocates' select committee submission

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22, Aug, 2014

Submission of summary criminal applications

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12, Jun, 2014

SLAB moving to new offices in Autumn 2014

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12, Jun, 2014

Face to face legal services and their alternatives

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14, Mar, 2014

Advocate Mark Strachan sentenced to two years imprisonment for fraud and attempted fraud

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27, Sep, 2013

Annual Report 2012-2013

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