30 April 2020
This update provides guidance on the information we need you to send us with Civil paper accounts in cases involving property recovered or preserved.
During this time, we have adjusted our procedures to minimise any disruption to payments to you. We would also like to be able to make as many payments as possible to your clients. To do that, we need to be able to assess the property recovered or preserved.
We set up a new email process for you to send us paper accounts. As part of that process, please remember that we need you to send us the information we need to determine the recovery/preservation position.
We understand that with changes to the way you’re working, you may not have ready access to all the information required.
For online accounts the system guides you through the information we need; and we understand that the paper process can’t provide the same level of help when you’re completing the account synopsis.
But, the legal aid guidance provides you with all the information you need on how to deal with clawback and expenses for A&A and civil legal aid accounts.
It lists the documentation and information we need to assess whether property has been recovered or preserved in Civil legal aid. You should provide as much information as you can and tell us what you cannot provide.
We need you to send us, where applicable: a copy of the Initial Writ, Joint Minute, Minute of Agreement, Closed Record and decree. We also need to know the value of any property and secured debts involved in the action at the date of sale/transfer, or decree, if before.
If you are unable to provide court documentation, can you please send us details of the settlement terms. It will also be useful to provide details of the craves made by the opponent.
Value of property
If you are unable to provide values, let us know why this isn’t possible. If you can, give an indication of values and confirm who held title to the property involved.
Applicant’s email address
As we are unable to send any letters at this time, it would be helpful if you could provide us with an email address for the applicant.
From the information you send us, we may be unable to confirm the recovery/preservation position. We will still process your account and make payment to you.
However, it will delay the decision for the applicant. Where we have an email address for the applicant, we will let them know that we have received your account and that we will let them know the position as soon as the recovery/preservation can be confirmed.
We would hope that you will also explain the position to your client and when it is available, submit the missing information to us.
If you do not submit any details of the settlement, we will not be able to process your account for payment and will ask you for the information.
If you are holding money on behalf of your client please retain this until we have confirmed the position. Alternatively, only send us enough to cover the total cost of the accounts.
So far, from the solicitors we have spoken to about this, they have been able to send us enough information to allow us to make our decision. We are hopeful that in most situations we will be able to reach a decision to let your client know the outcome.
18 January 2024
Following solicitor feedback we have introduced a simplified application process for legal aid applications for a Guardianship order under one of five sections