Where the grant of advice and assistance proceeds to a grant of civil legal aid, you must send us both accounts together within six months of the conclusion of the civil proceedings or 12 months from the date you last gave advice under advice and assistance, whichever is the later.
There is an exception to this rule. You can send us an advice and assistance account on conclusion of the work under advice and assistance, but only where there is no possibility of future recovery or preservation or any question of payment of expenses to your client in connection with the subject matter of the advice. If you send us the advice and assistance account and then continue to provide civil legal aid, you must provide us with the relevant advice and assistance reference number when submitting your legal aid account to allow us to properly assess the case as a whole.
Regulation 11(2) of the civil fees regulations provides that when assessing the fee payable in respect of legal aid we may have regard to any payment, or payments, made to account under advice and assistance in relation to the same matter and, where the work in respect of which such payment, or payments, is made might reasonably have been carried out under the legal aid certificate, we may reduce the amount of the fee payable accordingly.
This might be, for example, where you undertake work prior to the effective date of a grant of civil legal aid, and that work is subsequently properly included within the instruction fee, or where you carry out work as a matter of special urgency). The provision is a necessary one to avoid duplication.