In March 2014 the Government commenced consultation on proposals to change the Family Advocacy Scheme. This was in response to proposed changes to Practice Direction 27A regarding court bundles in family proceedings. The consultation closed in April and the Government’s response was published this month.
The Government have confirmed that they intend to proceed with the proposal to maintain the current bundle bolt-on system but base it on the advocate’s bundle instead of the court bundle. The response to the consultation states:
‘In this context, the advocate’s bundle would only consist of those served documents that are relevant and necessary to the case….. Verification will be provided by way of a paginated list of the served documents, agreed by the advocate with the other parties. This would be accompanied by a written explanation from the advocate of why specified documents are relevant and necessary to the case. The advocate, in seeking to claim a bolt-on payment would submit these to the court for certification at the hearing in conjunction with the advocate’s attendance form. The LAA would determine any payment to be made based on the paginated list certified by the court and consideration of the explanation of documents included in the advocate’s bundle, where appropriate.’
The changes are intended to come into force to coincide with the implementation of changes to the size of court bundles on 31st July. This would therefore mean that for hearings taking place before 31st July payment would be based on the court bundle, and payment for hearings on or after 31st July would be based on the advocate’s bundle.
For further information on the consultation click here: