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Changes to LSC arrangements for family law cases with projected costs over £25,000

Guidance on changes to high cost family case procedures published by LSC

Changes to regulations and guidance affecting high cost family cases have taken place following consultations between the LSC and representative bodies. Full details are contained inthe High Cost Family Cases information pack.

Here is a summary:

Timely submission of a case plan
Providers need to notify the LSC when the costs of a case are likely to exceed £25,000. They must then supply a case plan within four weeks.

If a case plan is not provided within four weeks the LSC will not retrospectively approve costs above the costs limitation for the period up until the case plan is submitted.

In exceptional circumstances this period can be extended by contacting the Very High Cost Cases (VHCC) team at vhccstyneside@legalservices.gsi.gov.uk .

Multiple certificates with a combined costs limitation in excess of £25,000
This applies where providers are acting with more than one public funding certificate.

An example might be where several children are represented in care proceedings. This may result in the combined costs limitation across the public funding certificates rising above £25,000.

If this happens, the LSC will restrict payment to £25,000 unless the case has been notified as 'high cost' and a case plan provided within the required timeframe.

Where a final hearing is imminent at the date of notification
A case plan is not normally required when the final hearing is due to begin within four weeks of the LSC being notified that the case is a VHCC.

Where the LSC agrees that a case plan is not required, it will require that two separate CLAIM1s are completed.

This is to distinguish costs before and after the date of notification.
                             
The LSC will consider the costs detailed in the CLAIM1s in lieu of a case plan. But they must be submitted within four weeks of the conclusion of the final hearing or costs will not be agreed.

Events Model Pricing
A pilot for 'events' pricing is being carried out for single counsel cases managed by the South Tyneside Unit.

The simpler process means that the LSC can deal with these 'events' based case plans within four weeks.

Providers interested in carrying out work using the 'events' model should email the VHCC events team at vhccevents@legalservices.gsi.gov.uk.