Special urgency, expenses, and property recovered or preserved: circumstances where we may not be able to pay you
If your client receives legal aid, any expenses must be paid into the Legal Aid Fund at the end of the case. This is a statutory requirement. However, there is no facility for payment of expenses out of the Fund.
If the money paid into the Fund is less than we have paid out, we will seek payment from any contribution or property recovered. If we determine that either of the following two situations applies you do not have to pay in any expenses recovered:
Your client is not assisted and there is no net liability
You cannot be paid under legal aid
Therefore, we can release any money we have received.
The reasons provided in Regulation 18(7) of the Civil Legal Aid (Scotland) Regulations 2002 for us not being able to pay are:
You did not have reasonable grounds for believing your client would be eligible for legal aid [section 15 of the Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1986]
The work was not “actually, necessarily and reasonably done due regard being had to economy”
Cover for work done before a decision on the legal aid application: the nature and types of special urgency
Read more on how to get cover for urgent work that must be done before a decision on legal aid is given.
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.
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.