Hardship Claims

In response to Covid 19 crisis, the Legal Aid Agency has introduced a new scheme with effect from 1 May 2020. Reg 21 is amended by this SI.

The Criminal Legal Aid (Remuneration) Regulations 2013, reg 21

Hardship payments21

1

Subject to paragraphs (5) and (6), the appropriate officer may allow a hardship payment to a representative in the circumstances set out in paragraph (2).

2

Those circumstances are that the representative—

a

represents the assisted person in proceedings in the Crown Court;

b

applies for such payment, in such form and manner as the appropriate officer may direct, not less than F9one month after the representative was first instructed in those proceedings, or in related proceedings if the representative was instructed in those proceedings earlier than in the proceedings to which the application relates;

c

is unlikely to receive final payment in respect of the proceedings, as determined under Schedule 1 or 2, within the three months following the application for the hardship payment; and

d

satisfies the appropriate officer that, by reason of the circumstance in sub-paragraph (c), the representative is likely to suffer financial hardship.

3

Every application for a hardship payment by an advocate must be accompanied by such information and documents as the appropriate officer may require as evidence of—

a

the work done by the advocate in relation to the proceedings up to the date of the application; and

b

the likelihood of financial hardship.

4

Every application for a hardship payment by a litigator must be accompanied by such information and documents as the appropriate officer may require as evidence of—

a

the Class of Offence with which the assisted person is charged, in accordance with F8the LGFS Table of Offences;

b

the length of trial, where appropriate;

c

the number of pages of prosecution evidence, determined in accordance with paragraph 1(2) of Schedule 2;

d

the total number of defendants in the proceedings who are represented by the litigator F7, where appropriate;

e

the likelihood of financial hardship.

5

The amount of any hardship payment is at the discretion of the appropriate officer, but must not exceed such sum as would be reasonable remuneration for the work done by the representative in the proceedings up to the date of the application.

6

A hardship payment must not be made if it appears to the appropriate officer that the sum which would be reasonable remuneration for the representative, or the sum required to relieve the representative's financial hardship, is less than F10£450 (excluding value added tax).

7

F2Subject to paragraphs (9) and (10) where the appropriate officer allows a hardship payment under paragraph (1), the appropriate officer must authorise payment accordingly.

8

Where the application for a hardship payment is made by an advocate other than F4a trial advocate, and the appropriate officer allows a hardship payment under paragraph (1)—

F5a

payment must be made to the—

i

appropriate trial advocate who attends the first day of trial, where the trial has commenced;

ii

appropriate trial advocate, where a trial has not commenced, or

iii

appropriate instructed advocate, where there is no trial advocate, and

b

the appropriate officer must notify the advocate who made the application that payment has been made to the F6appropriate trial advocate or the appropriate instructed advocate.

F19

Where a litigator has received an interim payment under regulation 17A, the amount of that interim payment must be deducted from any hardship payment payable to that litigator under this regulation.

10

Where a litigator has already received one or more hardship payments under this regulation, the amount deducted under paragraph (9) excludes any interim payment already deducted from any earlier hardship payment.

F311

In paragraph (8)—

  • “appropriate instructed advocate” means—

    1. a

      where the section 16 determination provides for representation by a single advocate, the instructed advocate, or

    2. b

      where the section 16 determination provides for representation by more than one advocate, the leading instructed advocate or the led instructed advocate, as appropriate, and

  • “appropriate trial advocate” means—

    1. a

      where the section 16 determination provides for representation by a single advocate, the trial advocate, or

    2. b

      where the section 16 determination provides for representation by more than one advocate, the leading trial advocate or the led trial advocate, as appropriate.

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Updated on 30/04/2020

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