Your client has a duty to tell us of any change in their circumstances, financial or otherwise.
If it is a case where a spouse’s or partner’s means must also be taken into account, any change in their means must also be reported to us.
If your client does not give us the information we ask for to confirm our original assessment or to make a redetermination, we can suspend or withdraw the legal aid.
We can also recover from them all fees and outlays we have paid to you, any previous solicitor and counsel less any amount paid in contributions.
If you have reason to believe your client has not complied with this duty, you must draw this to our attention.
Your duty to report any change of circumstances overrides any duty of confidentiality owed to your client. This is an exception to the stipulation that legal aid is not to affect the relationship between you, counsel and your client as set out in section 31(7) of the Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1986.
We can directly request information from your client, or you or counsel, relating to any change in circumstances, financial or otherwise.
Change of address
We need to be told as soon as possible of any changes of address so we can update our records. This will avoid delays in correspondence with your client. A notification providing the new address details and, if known, the date the change took place should be sent to us as soon as possible on the reference number/case in question.
Death of your client
Where your client dies you should inform us as soon as possible so we can update our records to prevent us sending any correspondence to the deceased, which could upset family members.