Legal Aid round-up

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Expert Witnesses

The LAA is updating its guidance on the remuneration of expert witnesses. A member of Resolution’s legal aid committee will attend a meeting with the LAA and provided comments.

CCMS update

The LAA is continuing to develop its new interface for CCMS, known as Apply for legal aid. It intends to streamline the current process for all concerned and enable clients to share financial information with the LAA through a ‘one off’ use of open banking. A Resolution legal aid committee member will attend a demonstration of the new software in September. We will keep you updated.

Resolution working for you – LASPO review

The MOJ is proposing to have a meeting to discuss a review of the means test in late September. Resolution is keen to hear from members as to how the means test is working for you.

One of the LASPO review proposals is to extend eligibility for non‑means tested legal aid for parents, or those with parental responsibility, who wish to oppose applications for placement orders or adoption orders in public family law proceedings. As far as we are aware, there has been no progress on this.

A further proposal is to extend legal aid to cover Special Guardianship Orders. Regulations have not been drafted yet but there will be a meeting towards the end of September to discuss them.

There has been a meeting in order to review the process of applying for exceptional case funding.

Police disclosure/medical records

Resolution Legal Aid Committee members report that the LAA does not always appear to follow its own guidance on when they should pay charges for police disclosure and medical records. The guidance states that when a request is due to records being required for Court proceedings, the LAA should pay as it is not a subject access request under GDPR. Resolution will be pursuing the issue with the LAA.

In the meantime, members may wish to draw caseworkers’ attention to the Civil Finance Handbook (paras 10.1 and 10.25) and the Escape Cases Handbook (paras 5.1 and 5.23). They set out when a request can be considered a subject access request under GDPR (and therefore no fee should be charged) and when it falls outside GDPR provisions and a charge is justified and may be re-claimed. There is also useful information on the Information Commissioner’s website.

Top ten reasons for rejects

The LAA recently provided this information about why bills are being rejected:

Top 10 CCMS Rejects Reject % KPI/non-KPI
This is a non-KPI reject for Disbursement Voucher missing or incomplete 43% Non-KPI
At Provider Request – Non-KPI reject 10% Non-KPI
Priority Return Non-KPI reject 2 6% Non-KPI
FAS – Incorrect Hearing Unit/Fee Claimed 5% KPI
VHCC FI – Non-KPI reject 2 4% Non-KPI
This is a non -KPI reject for Document Request not responded to 4% Non-KPI
At Provider Request – Non-KPI reject 2 4% Non-KPI
Out of Scope work claimed 3% KPI
Document Requests not responded to 2 3% Non-KPI
Work that cannot be claimed included 2% KPI


Top 10 CCMS document requests % KPI/non-KPI
Document request not responded to 11%
Expert details insufficient (please list information required) 11% Non-KPI
Counsel fees do not reconcile 10% Non-KPI
Other 10%
Disbursement voucher missing 8% Non-KPI
Counsel hourly rates bill not submitted 6% Non-KPI
Court order required (please list why) 5% Non-KPI
Outcome Issues 5% Non-KPI
Solicitor travel details required 5% Non-KPI
Case narrative missing 4%


LAA updates


Work type Current position (working days)
Applications (inc means assessments) 12 days
Amendments/Authorities 11 days
Appeal 26 days
Discharge 1 days
Means re-assessments 17 days

Flexible Court hours pilot

After a delay, the pilot has started at Brentford County Court (civil cases only) and at Manchester Civil Justice Centre (civil and family cases). In Manchester two court rooms will operate from 16:30 to 19:00. For more information see the August news.