Covid-19: New interim payments guidance on submitting accounts

From 1 April interim payments can be submitted for A&A (incl. ABWOR), fixed payments and for summary (non-fixed payments incl. summary appeals) accounts during the current Covid-19 crisis.

We advised you that we have developed a four point plan to:

  • maintain solicitor and counsel payments
  • make use of the existing interim accounts provisions
  • extend those provisions
  • seek new powers to pay a proportion of accounts without the need for a full account subject to provisions that will allow for recovery of any overpayments.

Existing interim payment processes

Where there are already processes in place for submission of interim payments solicitors are encouraged to use those provisions to the full.

Details of our existing interim payment arrangements for civil, solemn criminal, children’s legal aid and civil A&A can be found here . You should follow the guidance below to make a claim:

  • Solemn criminal and children’s here (PDF)
  • Civil block fee accounts here
  • Civil detailed accounts here
  • Civil outlays here

We are continuing to develop our accounts systems to further improve and extend those provisions to allow for more frequent claims to be submitted.

We are working as fast as we can to introduce those changes and we remain hopeful that they will be in place by May 2020. We will let you know as soon as they are available.

Covid-19 interim payment claims from 1 April

In the meantime, we are pleased to confirm that from the 1st April you will be able to make an interim payment claim for work done to date, in circumstances where the Covid-19 situation means there is little prospect of the matter concluding in the near future for the following accounts:

  • Advice and Assistance accounts for children’s and civil non-recovery cases and for all ABWOR (non-fixed payments) accounts
  • Summary Criminal and ABWOR fixed payments
  • Criminal ABWOR & Summary Criminal Legal Aid (non-fixed payments)

This now provides a platform for solicitors to submit interim payment claims in respect of almost all types of account.

In addition, we have also reduced the threshold limit before you were eligible to make a claim for reimbursement of outlays in solemn criminal (incl. appeals) and children’s legal aid cases from £750 to £150.  The £150 limit applies to each eligible claim and can be made up of a single or multiple outlays.

Please follow the guidance as to how you can make a claim.

In line with normal practice, all cases in which interim accounts have been paid will be subject to a final assessment as and when the final account is received.

At that stage should any earlier overpayment become apparent, we reserve our right to adjust any final payment to reflect the amount of any prior overpayment, or where no further payment is due, to seek repayment where necessary.

For more information

If you have any queries on the update, please contact:

Steven Carrie, Senior Technical Specialist: carriest@slab.org.uk

Karen Shaw, Assistant Accounts Manager: shawka@slab.org.uk

 

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