Agreement with The Law Society
On this page:
- Way forward agreed
- The agreement at a glance
- Addressing areas of concern
- A routemap for civil legal aid reform
- About the judgment
- Correspondence with the Law Society
- For more information
The LSC, The Law Society and Ministry of Justice (MoJ) agreed a way forward following the Court of Appeal’s judgment on our Unified Contract. See Documents for the agreement.
As part of the agreement, the LSC and MoJ have agreed to:
- targeted increases in some of the fees in the civil fee schemes already introduced
- not introduce full implementation of best value tendering for mainstream civil legal aid services until 2013, with pilots proposed in some areas between 2010 and 2013
- delay until July 2009 the introduction of any best value tendering scheme for criminal defence services that may be introduced following a recent consultation
- make new arrangements in respect of historic unrecouped payments on account (meaning payments on account made at least 6 years ago)
- provide for the right to undertake Remainder Work on the no fault termination of a contract
- make new provisions for the reconciliation of Standard Monthly Payments (SMPs) designed to keep changes to a minimum
- not implement further family fee changes for solicitors until April 2010.
See Documents for an 'at a glance' pullout on the detail of the agreement.
The agreements also looks at issues legal aid providers are concerned about. We have set up two working groups to address:
We have published a route map for the civil reform programme. See Documents for the paper and a visual guide.
The Court of Appeal found in favour of The Law Society’s arguments that one of the amendment powers in the Unified Contract does not comply with 2006 European regulations on public contracts.
We regret that we did not recognise the implications of those regulations at an earlier stage.
The judgment will affect the contractual relationship between the LSC and providers in future:
- contracts need to be clear about the conditions that will apply throughout the term of the contract
- amendment clauses cannot be too wide
- we will need to take account of public procurement law.
This means that:
- contracts might be for shorter periods in future
- each time new contracts are offered, the procurement process will be open to new bidders as well as existing contract holders.
- cash flow
- payments for immigration work in progress
- the unified contract
- and past tendering exercises.
See Documents for:
- index of agreemeent
- deed of settlement
- joint statement
- 'at a glance' guide to the agreement
- routemap for civil legal aid.
Visit the CLS > Pay rates and schemes pages for rates of pay.
Last updated: 16 July 2008