Covid-19: Process for submitting interim claims in A&A potential property recovered or preserved cases

Guidance notes

It is important to be aware that the process of selecting the type of account you are framing can affect the system calculations in respect of expenditure levels.

It is your responsibility to ensure that any claim that you make has proper regard to the expenditure limits that are in place and we would encourage you to do the following in advance of submitting an interim fee claim:

  • Frame a draft on-line account of the fees and, where appropriate, outlays incurred to date by selecting the synopsis type as ‘final’:
    • This will ensure that expenditure calculations are applied thereby significantly reducing the risk of the interim fee claim being overstated, which may ultimately require you to refund SLAB
      o You will then be able to see if any restrictions are necessary in circumstances where the authorised expenditure level has been exceeded at any stage prior to obtaining an increase.
      o Where there are outlays these should be included in the draft account at the point where they have been incurred and this will be allow you to identify the total value of those charges and ensure there is sufficient expenditure left to meet those charges.
  • Where outlays have been incurred and they meet the criteria for an interim claim these must be submitted separately from any claim for solicitor’s fees.
  • The interim outlay process remains unchanged from the current process in non-recovery A&A cases. You should follow the guidance available here to make a claim (Note although this is a link to guidance on how to submit claims in civil legal aid cases the process for advice and assistance cases is broadly the same).
  • On establishing the level of interim fee you wish to claim you should then return to the synopsis tab and select ‘Interim’ and follow the relevant guidance below.
  • The on-line system will validate the interim fee claimed to ensure it does not exceed the current final expenditure available.
  • This calculation will have regard to any previous interim payments (outlays or fees) as well as any draft outlays.

How to make a claim

Select the relevant Covid-19 interim fee process online guidance below:

  • No previous payments & no draft entries
    1. To proceed with an interim fee claim you must first select “interim” within synopsis tab
    2. On selecting “Interim” in the synopsis tab you must proceed as follows;
      • Select interim type as fee
      • Confirm the case has not concluded
      • Select appropriate interim criteria
      • Click save.

     

     

     

    1. You are then taken directly to the work breakdown tab and the A&A interim fee work item is automatically created
        • The interim fee work item will not be selectable from the drop down list of work items

     

     

     

      1. Click on the work item to enter details
      2. The work item date defaults to the current date, this is the end date and this can be altered.
      3. You must enter the start date of the work item (for 1st interim fee this would be the effective date)
      4. The dates entered cover the date range that the interim fee covers
      5. You must then enter the value of the fees
      6. The system will validate the % allowable (currently set at 100%)

     

     

     

      1. On clicking update and close the work item is updated
      2. If the current expenditure is exceeded this will be displayed below the work item
      3. However, the main validations run when the work item is ticked and you click “request payment” and confirm it is an interim fee claim
      4. The interim fee validations are set to ensure that the you cannot exceed the current maximum expenditure
      5. You are advised if the value of the interim fee results in the current expenditure being exceeded and of the maximum interim fee value that can be claimed

     

     

        1. It will not be possible to submit the interim fee claim until the value of the fee is amended to a value equal to, or less than, the maximum value displayed.
        2. On proceeding with the claim, after any necessary adjustments, the declaration must be completed as normal

     

     

     

     

  • Previous interim outlays or interim fees paid, no draft entries
      1. Follow steps 1-4 in previous section
      2. The previous interim payments will be displayed
      3. In this example there has been an interim outlays payment (each previous interim payment would be displayed)

     

     

      1. Proceed to update the interim fee work item as per steps 5-9 of previous section.
      2. The value of the previously paid interims is used in the expenditure calculations
      3. As in the previous section it will be shown if the combined value of the paid interim outlays and the interim fees exceeds the current expenditure.
      4. The main validations run when the work item is ticked and you click 'request payment' and confirm it is an interim fee claim
      5. The value of the interim fee cannot exceed the current expenditure less the value of the paid interims
      6. For example:
          • Current expenditure           £425
          • Paid interim outlays           (£132.50)
          • Maximum interim fee allowable £292.50
      7. You are advised if the value of the interim fee results in the current expenditure being exceeded and of the maximum interim fee value that can be claimed

     

      1. It will not be possible to submit the interim fee claim until the value of the fee is amended to a value equal to, or less than, the maximum value displayed.
      2. On proceeding with the claim, after any necessary adjustments, the declaration must be completed as normal
  • Using draft entries to assist in arriving at interim fee
    1. Ensure that you have selected the 'final' option in the synopsis tab
    2. Proceed to enter your work items as normal
    3. As you create work items calculations take place that alert you when, and by how much you have exceeded expenditure levels

    1. At the foot of the draft account the total of all the fees, less draft outlays, is displayed (in this instance £294.46)
    2. So, in the example shown it would be clear that the total of the fees is £294.46 but, the account shows that the expenditure has been exceeded by £26.86 on 11 March and by a further £25.64 on 31 March
    3. Therefore you should subtract £52.50 from the total fees, to arrive at an interim fee claim of £241.96
    4. NOTE: Where you exceed a specific expenditure limit the system will display the cumulative total for each work item that exceeds that expenditure level.
      • In the example shown two work items were subject to a restriction to the authorised expenditure prior to the increase obtained on the 12 March
      • The letter fee by £13.72 and then a meeting fee of £13.14 the system will display this as follows:

      • The cumulative total continues for each entry until the expenditure has been increased.
      • In the example shown an increase was granted on the 12 March Therefore the cumulative total ceased to continue on that date and the total expenditure abatement to apply before that date would be £26.86
    1. On taking a note of such restrictions you can proceed with the interim fee claim as follows;
      • Return to synopsis tab and select interim
      • Select fee
      • Confirm case has not concluded
      • Select interim fee criteria and click save
      • Click the interim fee work item
      • Enter the date range ( for example; effective date to today’s date)
      • Enter the interim fees as £241.96 (using the example at the start of this section)
      • Save the work item, tick the work item and request payment
    1. Complete the declaration as normal and click 'submit'.