Our files are dealt with in a timely and professional manner. No job is too small. Our queries are dealt with without question or delay.
Gill Perry, Jones Myers LLP
Unprecedented times- Improving cash flow for legal aid providers
In light of the current situation we want to update and reassure firms on the ways that you can still regulate cashflow during the coming months.
Legal aid practitioners have some options available to help regulate cash flow during this unprecedent time. These include:
Payments on Account for Family and Civil Legal Aid
A provider is entitled to claim a payment on account (POA) for profit costs and disbursements incurred throughout the life of a legal aid certificate.
POA in respect of Disbursements
If you have incurred any type of disbursement, did you know that you could make a POA in relation to that disbursement?
A POA can be applied for at any point during the period of the public funding certificate providing that the final bill has not been submitted.
Disbursements vouchers must be submitted with any POA of disbursements of £20 or over (including VAT).
Improve your cash flow once you have received an invoice/incurred a disbursement by making a POA. You can also claim up to 12 minutes for completing the task.
POA in respect of Provider Profit Costs
In relation to profit costs, a provider must wait 3 months from the grant of the certificate before a POA can be made. So our advice would be to check all your cases and see whether 3 months has expired and if so, make a POA. For those cases that haven’t reached the 3 month mark, diarise to make a POA on the expiry of the 3 month anniversary of the certificate being granted.
Furthermore a POA in respect of profit costs can only be made twice in a 12 month period. This is a rolling 12 month period and starts from when the first profit costs payment is authorised (as opposed to being based on the anniversary of the certificate being issued).
It is worth noting that in family cases the costs of all proceedings and FAS should be included within the payment submission. Providers are unable to claim separate profit costs payments for FAS or the different aspects.
In CCMS you will need to enter 100% of the profit costs incurred to date and the CCMS system will calculate the 75% that will be paid to the provider.
Information on how to complete a payment on account for profit costs can be found by clicking at the link below:
Criminal- Crown Court
In Crown Court proceedings, litigators can claim an interim payment for costs incurred at one of the following stages in the proceedings:
In addition, all representatives at the Crown Court are entitled to submit a claim for hardship under the following circumstances:
The LAA have stated that they will take a flexible approach to the assessment and evidence of financial hardship, but have stressed that the nature and extent of financial hardship must still be demonstrated.
The terms for interim and hardship payments covering Crown Court work are set out in the Criminal Legal Aid (Remuneration) Regulations 2013
Further information can be found at the following link:
Have your matters finished and are waiting to be billed?
If you are answering yes to that question, then waste no time and instruct us to bill that file, whether it be a CCMS claim or Bill of Costs for assessment by the Court. We are still fully operational and can access your files electronically. Please contact your local Regional Manager or call us on 0370 300 3780.
Monday 30th March 2020