During a case, it may become apparent to you or counsel that your client has adopted an unreasonable attitude and they are incurring unjustifiable expense to public funds. Your client also may have withheld relevant information or has given false or misleading information. If no action is taken, there will be an abuse of legal aid.
Potential scenarios where abuse of legal aid should be reported
It is your duty and that of for counsel to draw such a matter to our attention immediately. Examples of issues that need to be reported to us in terms of regulation 24 of the Civil Legal Aid (Scotland) Regulations 2002 include where your client:
For no good reason declines your advice or advice from counsel.
Insists on prolonging the case with a view to procrastination.
Regulation 24(2) Civil Legal Aid (Scotland) Regulations 2002: client confidentiality and reporting abuse of legal aid
The duty to report such abuse of legal aid 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 or their respective rights. You must report any concerns you have to us.