Family News: Advocates' Attendance Forms Required for All Final Hearings
The LSC has indicated that it will be changing its approach to FAS forms for final hearings.
We had successfully been claiming final hearing fees without an advocate's attendance form if the hearing was not more than 1 hour. This was following a concession that there was a ‘loophole’ in the information to judges that stated that advocate's attendance forms were only required for hearings over 1 hour. The intention had been to say all interim hearings over 1 hour, any hearings with bolt-ons and all final hearings. As a result of this, caseworkers were exercising discretion as long as there was evidence on file to indicate it was indeed a final hearing.
We have been advised that this will no longer be the case and the LSC will be sticking strictly to its guidance on FAS which states “The only time that the form does not need to be completed is where a hearing takes place by telephone or video conference or where only a Hearing Unit 1 without bolt-ons is being claimed”.
It is therefore essential that fully completed advocate's attendance forms are obtained for all final hearings.