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LSC introduces new civil legal aid fees for experts

New rates apply to applications signed on or after 3 October 2011

The Community Legal Services (Funding) (Amendment no.2) Order 2011 has introduced new codified rates for civil legal aid experts fees.

The Legal Services Commission says that the proposals are designed to try to ensure a smooth implementation process.

Many of the proposals are being operated on a pilot basis and will be subject to review and possible change as the work progresses.

The new rates for experts will apply to all applications for new certificates signed on or after 3 October 2011 as well as those signed before the 3October 2011 but not received by the LSC by 10 October 2011. New rates apply whether the contract held by the provider is Unified or Standard. Old rates/expert provisions will still apply to certificates where the application for funding was made before 3 October 2011 (i.e. it will need to have been signed before 3 October 2011) and received by the LSC on or before 10 October 2011.

A new form (CLS App 8A) is currently being developed to assist the process in requesting prior authority, and this is expected to be ready in the next few weeks.
The use of the form will not be mandatory, but it does provide a useful checklist as to what information we will need in order to consider the request.

In the meantime the LSC says that the existing App 8 should be used and that details should be given of the exceptional circumstances to justify the rate requested.