Transfer of Legal Aid court assessed bills to assessment by the LAA
As Bob Dylan once said – ‘The times they are a-changin’
From 17th August 2020 the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) will transfer all claims to be assessed by the court, to the LAA for assessment on a mandatory basis.
Previously, civil proceedings that concluded in front of a District Judge or higher, where costs incurred were over £2500, were subject to court assessment. This will continue to be the case for bills with an ‘Inter Partes’ element.
However, any ‘legal aid only’ assessment will now take place by the LAA no matter the level of costs.
The LAA has provided guidance at the following link:
You still have the option to have the bills assessed by the court but courts outside of London may start returning the bills if they do not have the capacity to deal with them. Any bills e-filed at the SCCO prior to 17/8/20 will be assessed by the SCCO.
The LAA is currently allowing you to submit bills, that should have been assessed by the court, direct to the LAA for assessment on a voluntary basis.
The LAA believe that the transfer of court bills to the LAA for assessment will result in a faster payment service.
At Burcher Jennings we have been dealing with online submissions from the very beginning of the CCMS pilot scheme in 2013. We can assist firms with the completion of outcome codes, uploading of bills and submission of supporting documents as well as dealing with appeals/adjustment claims. The majority of the CCMS work is already factored into our basis charging structure and the same is recoverable within any non-fixed fee/escape case fixed fee matters.
Given the current global pandemic let us assist in easing cash flow issues and ensuring payment is received as quickly and smoothly as possible from the Legal Aid Agency.
If you wish to discuss this or any other matter relating to Legal Aid billing please contact Allistair Lang at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0870 7777 100