Criteria for allowing a change of solicitor within same firm

We can allow a change the nominated solicitor in limited circumstances. A grant of advice and assistance is personal to you, but a change in the nominated solicitor can be requested online where the solicitor has died, retired or otherwise left private practice. This avoids the need for a second application for advice and assistance and your client possibly having to pay a second contribution.

The criteria are that:

  • You are unable to complete the course of advice and assistance
  • Another solicitor in the same firm is to complete the advice and assistance
  • All parties agree to the arrangement
  • One account will be sent in at the conclusion of the advice and assistance under the new solicitor’s practitioner code and paid under the mandate relating to the new solicitor.

Criteria for allowing a change of solicitor: sole practitioners

The exception is if you, as a sole practitioner, have to engage a locum solicitor who, during your absence, determines if your client is eligible for advice and assistance so the grant is not put in your name. The locum will only be acting for a short time and you will usually want to take over acting for your client when you return. The criteria to be applied in this situation are:

  • All parties agree to the arrangement
  • One account will be sent in at the conclusion of the advice and assistance under your code and paid under the mandate relating to you
  • Confirmation that the existing solicitor was acting in a locum capacity only in your absence

Procedure for changing nominated solicitor and information required

A request for a change in nominated solicitor can be made online using the Block Solicitor/Firm moves application.  This facility can be found on the Home Page.

Further guidance can be found on our webpage at Legal Aid Online Information Hub.

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