Claims submitted on or after the 1 October 2022 must be submitted online using the procedures as outlined below.
Section 35 of the Coronavirus (Recovery and Reform) (Scotland) Act 2022, is effective from 1 October 2022. This introduces a single legal framework for claims for interim payment of fees and outlays by introducing new sections 33ZB and 33ZC of the Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1986.
There are three key elements to be understood by anyone wanting to exercise the option of making an interim claim:
You should be clear about the later requirements for a final account and the overpayment reimbursement consequences before you make any interim claim.
These changes have allowed us to introduce more streamlined and consistent procedures for making interim claims for almost all types of account, as set out below.
In line with current procedures you will not be able to submit an interim claim of fees or outlays for the following account types:
These cases should be commenced and concluded over a relatively short duration and the accounting should be submitted when your work has been completed.
In light of these streamlined procedures, and purely for the purposes of interim claims of solicitors’ fees, we will be introducing notional cost limits on solicitors’ fees for claims being made in respect of criminal and children’s legal aid.
The notional cost limit will be set around the 90% percentile of fees for the relevant case category – in other words we have set the limit where 90% of cases currently fall in terms of the accounts that we pay. Civil and advice and assistance cases already have cost limits attached to those grants and those will continue to apply.
If you make a claim where the notional cost limit is being exceeded we will ask you to provide further information in support of the claim and to provide an estimate of the total fees that you expect to incur in the case. Where we need it, we will ask for more information and we have the right to reject a claim if it appears that the sum claimed is likely to exceed the sum we would expect to pay.
The notional cost limit procedures which are being introduced do not apply to final claims where you must still submit a full account in support of your fees and outlays.
The process for submitting a claim is a streamlined version of the process that previously existed for those types of cases that allowed for interim fee claims.
The procedures remain unchanged and you must continue to submit vouching in support of any claim you make.
You should follow this guidance to make a claim. Although this shows how to make a claim in respect of civil legal aid the procedures are virtually the same for all other forms of legal aid or advice and assistance.
The procedures for submitting claims remain largely unchanged and any claim made in respect of Counsels fees must continue to be supported by an appropriate invoice of the sum that you would expect to be paid. You are now able to make more frequent claims in line with the criteria below.
Payment will be made in accordance with the protocol we have agreed with the Faculty of Advocates and the relevant legislation, as appropriate.
Claims must be submitted via email. Other than for members of Faculty of Advocates submitting a claim in terms of the Protocol mentioned above, each email claim must include a declaration in the standard terms for interim claims.
Civil claims must be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org
Criminal and children’s claims must be submitted to email@example.com