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, 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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Wednesday, Jun 04, 2014

Guidelines on applying the interests of justice test in criminal Assistance by Way of Representation (ABWOR) cases

This update concentrates on the use of Criminal ABWOR in summary criminal cases, and provides details and guidance on the application of the interests of justice test by the solicitor in cited and undertaking cases.

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Friday, May 30, 2014

Clarification on information from Police Station Duty Solicitors

On 27 May 2014, we published information regarding a change to the information we require solicitors acting under the Police Station Duty Scheme to provide to us.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Children’s Legal Assistance Update

This update provides information about: Rule 50 and 61 Recommendations – payment, Sheriff court non automatic legal aid applications, Referrals from CLAO, S101 – Application to the Sheriff to establish grounds.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Police Station Duty Solicitors - confirmation of outcome email

From 1 June 2014, we will ask Police Station Duty Solicitors to provide some information to us about the requests to attend a police interview referred to them.

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Thursday, May 08, 2014

Financial assessments and verification of financial circumstances in summary and solemn criminal applications

This guidance gives details of the most common situations where problems can arise in the financial assessments in Summary and Solemn Criminal applications. These notes are designed to help solicitors provide SLAB with the information we need to allow us to consider summary and solemn applications more quickly and without the need to continue cases for further clarification or information.

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Thursday, May 01, 2014

Financial assessments and verification of financial circumstances in criminal A&A and ABWOR cases

This guidance gives details of the most common situations where problems can arise in satisfying the requirement to verify financial circumstances in criminal advice and assistance and ABWOR cases. It is accepted that there are a number of situations where obtaining evidence of income and capital will be difficult, and this guidance sets out the information which needs to be provided to SLAB to help us ensure that reasonable and practicable steps have been taken to ensure that clients are financially eligible to receive assistance.

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Thursday, Apr 10, 2014

Legal Aid Accounts Performance Measurement

Following discussions with the Law Society of Scotland’s Civil and Criminal Teams about accounts payments’ service standards and targets, we thought it would be helpful to explain in more detail how we deal with rejections. We also thought it would be helpful to clear up any misunderstandings on how we measure timeliness.

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Tuesday, Mar 25, 2014

Deadline for applying for new Children’s Duty Scheme

Anyone wishing to be included on the 2014-15 Children’s Duty Scheme must complete the Duty Scheme application form. Please note that you must apply for the 2014-15 scheme even if you were on the 2013-14 scheme. We have extended the deadline for applying to Friday 4 April 2013.

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Thursday, Mar 20, 2014

Children’s legal assistance Key Performance Indicators

As with all aid types we have key performance indicators in place to ensure that we aim to deal with all applications as quickly and accurately as possible. In setting such indicators we take into account a number of factors.

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Thursday, Mar 20, 2014

Information for the courts and others about children’s legal assistance application status

We have recently been informed by the Reporters that in a small number of cases it was suggested to the Court by solicitors that there had been delays by SLAB in the processing of Children’s Legal Aid applications.

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Thursday, Mar 20, 2014

Selecting the correct category code for advice and assistance in social work cases

A number of practitioners have been admitting their clients to advice and assistance under the children’s legal assistance category codes of CHC or CHSA when the correct code to use should have been FAM.

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Thursday, Mar 20, 2014

Selecting the correct children’s hearing type

At present, in an initial application for ABWOR, you will be presented with a list of types of hearings. It is essential that you select the correct hearing type.

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Thursday, Mar 20, 2014

Grants of advice and assistance/ABWOR cannot be made retrospectively

It has always been the case that, in terms of S10 of the Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1986 and the case of Drummond and Co v SLAB HL 1992 SC (HL) 1, SLAB does not have the power to grant advice and assistance and associated ABWOR retrospectively.

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Providers News

10, Jul, 2014

Police Station Duty Scheme Update

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19, Jun, 2014

SCRA guidance on Glasgow Hearing Centre during Commonwealth Games

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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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16, Apr, 2014

Review of publicly funded legal assistance

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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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