Purpose of stage reporting

The reporting process (whereby you send us a report on Legal Aid Online when the prospects of success in a case reduce):

  • Helps you and us to review developments in a case.
  • Allows us to consider whether legal aid should continue.

In any stage report that you send to us you can provide reasons why you consider the grant should continue even though prospects have reduced. This could include:

  • The practical benefit to your client.
  • The prospects for any early settlement.

No stage report required for interim payment requests

You can ask for stage payments but you do not need to submit a stage report with such a request. We will consider the stage payment request without any reference to stage reporting.

No stage report required when cases sisted after legal aid has been granted

Where a case is sisted you do not have to submit a stage report.


When do I need to make an unprompted stage report?

You must provide a stage report when you are given, or have information, that suggests the prospects of success in the case and/or the prospects of recovery have reduced since legal aid was granted.

It is your duty, along with counsel and your client, to report any changes in circumstance to us affecting the assumptions on which we granted legal aid. You should immediately inform us of any material change in circumstances, whether they are financial or otherwise [Regulation 23 the Civil Legal Aid (Scotland) Regulations 2002], about:

  • Your client.
  • Any other person your client is jointly concerned with.
  • The probable cause or the reasonableness for your client to receive legal aid.

You are not precluded from reporting such circumstances because of any privilege arising out of the relationship between you and your client [Regulation 23(4) Civil Legal Aid (Scotland) Regulations 2002].

As a result of these changes:

  • The statutory tests of probable cause and reasonableness may no longer continue to be met.
  • Your client may no longer be financially eligible to receive legal aid.
  • We may need to re-assess eligibility.

Changes to your client’s finances that you must report

Remember that you must always tell us if your client’s:

  • Overall disposable income increases by £500 or more or decreases by £200 or more within the twelve month computation period.
  • Capital increases by £500 or more during the lifetime of the case (even if legal aid has been terminated beforehand).

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