You must always complete and retain on file a Declaration Form; namely the form headed ‘CHLA/LAO – 2011 Act’ for the following children’s legal aid applications:
This Declaration Form (previously referred to as ‘the Mandate’):
The Declaration Form will enable you to record key information and capture your client and your own signature.
All Declaration Forms must be:
You do not have to send us a copy of the Declaration Form but as part of our audit and quality checks, we will randomly verify that Declarations have been completed and signed appropriately. If this is not done or the Form is incomplete you may not be paid for any work you carry out.
For the duration of the Covid-19 period, solicitors may not be able to meet clients in person.
This means that legal aid declarations cannot be signed by people. There may also be concerns about sharing pens with people.
If you are consulting with people remotely, or have any other health concerns such as sharing pens, we can accept applications without the client’s signature in these circumstances for the time being.
In the online application, you can sign on the client’s behalf, and tick the box that asks you to confirm you have obtained your client’s signature. You can then say “coronavirus” in the additional information box at the end of the application.