We assess and collect any contribution due by your client if you are working under special urgency cover. You must be satisfied that your client is likely to qualify financially and that the online declaration is completed and signed. Any contribution we assess can then be used to pay towards part or all the cost of that work.
The Legal Aid Online declaration form is your route to payment. By signing this, your client is obliged to pay any contribution and we are responsible for assessing and collecting this.
When you see clients face to face they must sign the declaration. If the client is present and cannot sign, or if the client is not present, you should indicate that you are signing on behalf of your client and give the date of your remote consultation with the client. In these circumstances you must explain the terms of the declaration to the client and obtain their verbal consent to its terms.
Clients receiving benefits must still complete the online declaration as their circumstances may change. If it is a false declaration, it is the authority for us to recover any sums paid from the Fund.
Before we can accept a claim for payment under regulation 18 of the Children’s Legal Assistance (Scotland) Regulations 2013, we must be satisfied that you had reasonable grounds for believing your client would be financially eligible for legal aid, based on the information you had at the time.
Your client should be advised that:
You must obtain the client’s signature on this declaration form and keep a copy on file in case we need it at any point.
Your client should be warned they may need to provide us with information to enable us to properly assess any contribution payable.
The completion of the declaration relieves you of the need to recover any contribution payable and of asking for a payment towards your fees and outlays. If we refuse children’s legal aid, we will pay you the lodged account in full (subject, of course, to any adjustments).
You should not delay carrying out urgent work while we carry out the assessment of any possible contribution.
Special Urgency for proceedings under the 2011 and 2019 Acts
Find out about the scope of legal aid for special urgency work and the criteria to be met to ensure payment for this urgent work in 2011 Act proceedings.