Block move/transfer cases option added to Legal Aid Online

This update contains information about a new ‘Block solicitor transfer/firm moves’ option that will go live on Wednesday 24 April.

We have also recapped below the other developments we previously updated you about that will be introduced as part of this system deployment:

New interim accounts process for payment of fees and outlays

You will now be able to claim interim payment of fees on the new online system for the following aid types: Criminal Legal Aid, Civil Legal Aid and Children’s Legal Aid.

You will also be able to claim interim outlays in the following aid types: Civil Legal Aid, Children’s A&A, and Children’s ABWOR

For information on the new accounts products that extend the availability of interim payments to all types of legal aid please refer to our update of 3 April.

Fee increase

Regulations to increase solicitor and advocate fees for legal aid and advice and assistance by 3% are due to come into force on 26 April 2019.

For information on the fee increase please refer to our update issued on 9 April.

New restricted access option on LAOL for law accountants

We have now developed a third party access solution allowing you to restrict access for law accountants to specified cases only.

This third party access will enable your law accountant to access the draft account facility for all aid types. However, they will only be able to see and frame accounts for the cases that you provide reference numbers for.

Our update  of 11 April 2019 contains full information on the new access restrictions.

Civil account changes

You will now be able to use the new account screens to submit civil time and line accounts.

An Edinburgh/Local agent function is now available in Court of Session cases where, in the CIV/SOL application, you provided the Edinburgh agent details and these have not changed.

Our update of 16 April 2019 contains full information on the new products

Block solicitor transfers, firm moves and change to A&A Nominated Solicitor

From Wednesday 24 April you will be able to:

  • Request a Transfer for a number of cases to another solicitor within the same firm
  • Move a number of cases to a new firm while retaining the same nominated solicitor
  • Request a change to the nominated solicitor in A&A and ABWOR cases (where no Transfer facility exists) in exceptional circumstances.

Benefits from implementing these online functions include:

  • The process will become much more streamlined and quicker
  • Requests will be dealt with efficiently, only creating tasks for decision makers where required.
  • The system will be maintained and updated consistently. This will reduce the problems for online accounts and subsequent work where transfers, moves and changes to nominated solicitor details are not always apparent for system validations.
  • Improving the online account information available to you. Allows the system to calculate fees and values based on accurate information.
  • Reducing unnecessary interactions between you and us. You will have access to the information required to make your own requests to us.
  • Moving these manual processes online will be a resource saving for both you and us.

How the block move/transfer cases’ option works on LAOL

We have created a new ‘Block Solicitor/Firm Moves’ option on the LAOL menu.

You will now be able to select from the options, the function you want:

  • Move cases to a new firm
  • Transfer cases to a new nominated solicitor within your firm
  • Change the name of the nominated solicitor for grants of A&A and ABWOR (where no Transfer facility exists)

Where a solicitor is moving to another firm and taking their cases, no interaction or decision is required by us. The move could be completed the same day as requested using this new form.

Situations where you will not be able to use the Block/Solicitor/Firm Moves application

You can use the ‘Firm Move’ and ‘Change of Nominated Solicitor’ application to move or update an individual case.  However, you can only use the ‘Block Solicitor/Firm Moves’ application if you are transferring a minimum of two cases.

 

 

What criteria are being used to identify active cases?

The system will provide, within the specified criteria, all cases available for a particular solicitor depending on the function selected. This will reduce the number of applications displayed to the solicitor, making the list manageable and meaningful by only selecting active cases.

The LAOL form will be easy to complete and send to SLAB.

We have set criteria to select cases:

Firm move - criminal case only

Cases excluded from the list of cases displayed are as follows:

  • A final account has been received.
  • The case has been refused for longer than 6 months.
  • The case has had a status of not considered for longer than 6 months.
  • The case was refused after review.

Firm move - other aid types

Cases excluded from the list of cases displayed are as follows:

  • A final account has been received (regardless of status (not deleted))
  • The case is refused (after review) and has no special urgency grant
  • The case has been refused for 6 months or longer, no review has been received and has no special urgency grant.
  • The case has been Terminated for 6 months or longer
  • The case has been Suspended for 6 months or longer
  • The case has been Abandoned
  • The case has been Rejected for 9 months or longer if the aid type Civil
  • The case has been Rejected for 3 months or longer if any other aid type
  • The case has a status of Not Considered
  • The case has a status of Held

Inter-agency transfers - criminal cases only

For Criminal (solemn, summary and appeals and ABWOR case disposal fee) the following cases will be excluded from the results displayed:

  • A final account has been received (regardless of status)
  • The case is Refused.
  • The case is Refused after review.
  • The case is Terminated.
  • The case is Rejected.
  • The case is Not Considered.
  • The case is Not Considered after review
  • The case is Registered pending decision.
  • The case is Held
  • The case is Unregistered.
  • The case under Review

Inter-agency transfers - other aid types

Cases excluded from the list are as follows;

  • A final account has been received (regardless of status)
  • The case is refused (after review) and has no special urgency grant
  • The case has been refused for 6 months or longer, no review has been received and has no special urgency grant.
  • The case is Terminated for 6 months or longer
  • The case is Suspended for 6 months or longer
  • The case is Rejected for 9 months or longer if the Aid type Civil
  • The case is Rejected for 3 months or longer if any other Aid type
  • The case is Abandoned
  • The case is Not Considered
  • The case is Held

A&A change of nominated solicitor - all aid types (where no transfer exists)

Since there is no formal transfer process, only an Admin process that we currently carry out in exceptional circumstances we have included an option for this process, however the exceptional criteria remains in place as a condition when requesting this type of change to be carried out.

Cases excluded from the list displayed are as follows;

  • A final account has been received (regardless of status)
  • The case status is Rejected (for 3 months or longer).

Training and guidance

The guidance section on our website currently contains training videos and interactive PDFs for the accounts products that are now live.   Including the new paper account process.

Please open the Guidance page and bookmark it so that you are able to access it easily whenever necessary. A link to the guidance section has also been added to the LAOL login screen.

WEBINAR’s are currently available for the products previously rolled out.

For further information or to arrange a webinar:

Please contact:Christine Connerton, Digital Services Marketing Officer: connertonch@slab.org.uk

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