Deadline for submission of accounts for special urgency work


Thursday, Aug 25, 2016

From 1 September 2016, special urgency accounts should be submitted as soon as possible, and otherwise within 4 months of the date of the application for civil legal aid being refused on the merits or abandoned due to the applicant’s failure to co-operate with SLAB’s enquiries into financial eligibility.

Please note that we will only consider accounts submitted after the 4 month deadline if we consider that there is a special reason for the late submission.

Benefits of introducing deadline

  • Solicitor cashflows could be improved by earlier submission of accounts – our analysis shows that 25% are submitted more than a year after refusal/abandonment and 8% in more than 2 years
  • Applicants will have greater and earlier certainty as to whether they have a debt to pay and how much they owe – in some circumstances the applicant may have to pay for the cost of the special urgency work and in many cases we can’t tell the applicant the amount of their liability for over a year. We want to be fairer to applicants in these circumstances.
  • SLAB can better budget and plan for expenditure and improve debt collection processes.

When solicitors undertake work under the special urgency provisions and civil legal aid is subsequently granted, the work done under the grant of special urgency is claimed for and paid under the civil legal aid certificate. Please note that there is no change to that process and no need to submit the Regulation 18 account separately.

After a refusal of civil legal aid, if you make a fresh application for civil legal aid, you should still submit the Regulation 18 account for the first application within this time limit.

If you have any queries about this update please contact Joe Kelly, Head of Civil and Children’s legal Assistance, by e mail at kellyjo@slab.org.uk or by telephone on 0131 240 2031.

 


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