LSC Confirm FAS No Longer Applicable to High Cost Cases
The LSC has this week confirmed that it will no longer be applying FAS in High Costs Cases.
Paragraph 79 of Schedule 4 of the The Community Legal Service (Funding)(Amendment) Order 2011 stated that “An individual case contract may provide that advocacy services must be remunerated in accordance with the Family Advocacy Scheme”. The LSC’s previous guidance was that it would be using this provision to enter into contracts based upon FAS and indeed did so for most cases in recent months. The Civil Certificated Billing Improvement Group has now confirmed that this provision should only be applied in respect of Counsel and not the acting Solicitor who should claim at hourly rates instead.
The LSC has admitted that there will be a number of case plans that have already been agreed on the basis of FAS. In view of the lack of clarity that has been provided on this issue, the LSC proposes to deal with any on-going matters upon the same basis as set out in the original case plan. Therefore if your case plan has already been agreed using FAS it will be paid as FAS.
To make its position clear, the LSC will be issuing a news update outlining these provisions in the near future. Once the newsletter has been issued, any case plans submitted will be expected to apply hourly rates for advocacy.