Kindly written & supplied by Jerry Bull (Managing Director of Atkins Hope, Solicitors in Croydon) & Samantha Little (Partner & Head of the Children Law Team at Russell-Cooke in Kingston) from their talk to the ALC Conference.
1 Watch out for the New KPIs and New Service standards in the contracts which started on 1st April 2013. These can be found in the Manual at sections 2C – 192-197
2 Scan in FAS form in case you lose it – LAA will not accept a copy but should be easier to get a copy from the court if a scanned in version available
3 Use standardised attendance notes with spaces for the actual figure of the claim to be inserted.
4 Keep running record of all advocacy (undertaken by both counsel and solicitor so you can tell at a glance who did which hearing) and disbursements. Use CLAIM1A for this purpose either as a hard copy or on the computer. Just keep it updated.
5 Scan in orders judgments and FAS forms. LAA now ask for the orders requiring early attendance so keep them with the FAS form.
6 Use as many standardised letters as possible including LOIs. There is already a list of good standard questions from the Family Justice Council and the Law Society so why reinvent the wheel.
7 Keep all experts details circulated on Yahoo Group on your own system.
8 Join Yahoo Group if not already a member.
9. Electronic Handbook
The electronic handbook is a supplemental resource designed for caseworkers which reflects current processes and guidance. This is found on this webpage
10 Narrative and guidance: legal aid
The 'Narrative and guidance: legal aid’ document contains an explanation of certain aspects of legal aid. Topics covered include:
• prior authorities (including authorities for counsel and experts in Children Act cases)
• funding for cases outside England and Wales
The Legal Aid Agency is producing a revised version of its ‘Paying for your Civil Legal Aid’ leaflet which legal aid providers should give to all clients applying for civil legal aid. You can obtain copies to print off at this webpage
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