Civil news: transfer of court assessed claims to Legal Aid Agency

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The transfer on 17 August means civil court assessed claims will be handled by the Legal Aid Agency’s (LAA) civil finance team instead of the courts.

Why is this happening?

In recent weeks many providers have gone without payment for cases because of court closures during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bringing this work in-house will remove the need for claims to go before the courts. This will mean faster payments in both the long and short-term for your work.

When is this happening?

Following consultation with representative bodies on amendments to the Cost Assessment Guidance, the transfer of court assessed claims from HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) to the LAA will take place 17 August.

From this date all claims must be sent to the LAA for assessment. Any claims for assessment received by HMCTS from this date will be returned without being processed.

The Senior Courts Costs Office (SCCO) will reject any claims submitted via CE File on or after 17 August and refund the court fee paid in the usual way.

Claims submitted before 17 August

Any claims submitted to HMCTS before 17 August may be returned to you for submission to the LAA if the HMCTS assessment process has not started.

Claims submitted to SCCO will processed by the court with an aim to complete within 4 weeks of the date of receipt.

The LAA is already set up to receive these claims and has been processing them since 1 June.

Providers can start sending claims to the LAA before 17 August transfer date to avoid unnecessary delay with assessment of their claims.

Operational guidance for firms wishing to submit claims – see below.

Further information

Transfer of claims assessed at court to the legal aid agency ahead of consultation closing

Published 1 June 2020
Last updated 15 July 2020 + show all updates

  1. Transfer date confirmed as 17 August.

  2. First published.

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