Depending upon the circumstances, and the type of urgent work you need to do, you may:
Go ahead and do the work, and tell us about it afterwards. [Regulation 18 1(a)and (2) of the Civil Legal Aid (Scotland) Regulations 2002 (“the Civil Regulations 2002”)]
Get our approval before doing the work [Regulation 18 1 (b)].
If you have approval to do work as a matter of special urgency to protect your client’s position, any legal aid that we subsequently grant will include that work.
Regulation 18(1)(a) and (2): special urgency with no prior approval required
Where the special urgency provisions are being used you must tell us and submit an application for legal aid including all the craves for work you want to do within 28 days of starting the work. You must tell us that you have done the work under regulation 18(1)(a) at the same time as you apply for civil legal aid. If you have already submitted an application you should use a special urgency notification. If you do not, the work will be excluded from any legal aid that may be made available.
Regulation 18(1)(b): special urgency with our prior approval required
If you are applying for approval under regulation 18(1)(b), you should submit a special urgency application. If we grant approval, we may limit the work or subject this to conditions, as we consider appropriate. While you do not need to notify us that work has actually been done following approval, you must ensure you have submitted a legal aid application within 28 days of beginning the urgent work. If you do not, the work will be excluded from any legal aid that may be made available.
Special urgency and effective date of the grant
Where work has been done in accordance with regulation 18, that work is covered under the legal aid subsequently granted. This does not mean the effective date on the certificate must be put back to the date the urgent work began. Your entitlement to payment depends on compliance with the terms of regulation 18 and not on any effective date stated on the certificate.
In this section
Special urgency: satisfying yourself that a client is financially eligible
Satisfy yourself that your client is financially eligible for civil legal aid with reference to income, capital and benefits.
List of circumstances in which you may undertake urgent work without prior approval
Read the list of circumstances where urgency work can be done without our prior approval (as long as you comply with Reg 18 of the Civil Regulations 2002)
Arrangements for collection of your client’s contributions in special urgency: the client mandate
Read about the importance of online declaration for special urgency work and information about contributions in this context.
Assessment of special urgency applications: tests applied by us
View factors that may suggest to us that there is no special urgency when considering the application.
Special urgency guidance: family cases
This page sets out our approach to assessing special urgency in various family cases including contact/residence; minutes to vary; minutes for failure to obtemper; and in relation to obtaining reports ordered by the Court.
Rejected or continued applications for civil legal aid: limited circumstance in which special urgency is available
Read general guidance on how we approach the special urgency test in the event of delay in seeking cover.
The importance of providing reasons for special urgency in the body of your application
Find out the sort of information we need within the application to show special urgency with an explanation of why we need this.
Special urgency, expenses, and property recovered or preserved: circumstances where we may not be able to pay you
Learn about situations under Regulation 18(7) when we might not be able to pay you and how tihs relates to expenses.
Status of your client under special urgency: contributions and requirement to provide financial information
Guidance on understanding status of your client under special urgency, implications for contributions and requirement clients provide financial information.
Special urgency and extension or amendments to existing legal aid
View information about when an online declaration is not required for work under special urgency.
Special urgency and sanction applications: usual sanction procedure applies
Read information on the procedure for applying for sanction for work carried out under special urgency provisions.
Special urgency and undertaking necessary collateral work: timing issues
View information about undertaking necessary collateral work under special urgency and example of when a further Regulation 18(1)(b) certification is required.
Special urgency work’s status: issues your client to be aware where it is not a grant of legal aid
Read guidance on the status of special urgency and potential implications for your client.
Special urgency situations where the client does not comply with our requests for information: potential effects
Find out the implications of not completing the financial assessment where work is done under the special urgency provisions.
Special urgency: procedure for exemption from court fees
Learn about the procedure for exempting work carried out under special urgency from court fees.