Legal Aid Agency - Civil news: faster payment claims and documentary evidence

20 Apr 2017 02:33 PM

Online claims in the Client and Cost Management System are more likely to be processed first time if the correct documents are attached.

Remember to upload all of the documentary evidence requested by the Client and Cost management System (CCMS) when you make your claim.

The requirements for this documentation are uniform across both CCMS and the old paper-based claiming system.

Common issues – documents

1.Court orders needing to be uploaded: 20% of all secondary requests are because the LAA requires a court order to confirm the claim.

Where advocacy is claimed under the Family Advocacy Scheme (FAS), court orders for advocacy should be uploaded to CCMS for:

  • contested interim hearing with a court bundle
  • ‘Issues Resolution Hearing’ that concludes proceedings
  • 3 or more advocates’ meetings

Court orders for disbursements should also be uploaded for any claim for drug testing or where there is an unusual division of a disbursement between the parties.

2.Incomplete or missing advocates’ attendance forms: the requirements for a completed FAS form for advocacy have not changed where there is a:

  • ‘Hearing Unit 2’ or higher – i.e. the hearing time is greater than 61 minutes or is a final hearing.
  • claim for any bolt-on or bundle

3.Incomplete or missing disbursement vouchers: any disbursement more than £20 (including VAT) still requires a completed and broken down disbursement voucher.

Where a voucher is not available, such as for court fees, a ledger is an acceptable alternative.

4.Incomplete or missing billing details: when claiming at hourly rates, any work entered as ‘other’ should be provided with an explanatory note uploaded to CCMS explaining the work.

5.Missing case narratives: all cases must still be accompanied with a case narrative. This can also be used to explain any unusual claim being made – such as travel under the ‘local travel’ rules.

Other common claim issues

  1. Counsel costs under FAS: if counsel is claiming under the FAS make sure that the costs claimed by counsel match the allocated cost limit.
  2. Counsel costs at hourly rates: if counsel is claiming by way of hourly rates, make sure their bill is submitted at the same time as yours.
  3. Expert’s breakdown: make sure expert claims contain sufficient detail of the work carried out.
  4. Incomplete financial issues: any statutory charge or ‘inter-party’ cost issues should be closed using the ‘case outcome’ task.

Further information

CCMS training Quick Guides – for guidance on submitting bills in CCMS

CIV Claim1 – documentary evidence checklists

CIV CLAIM1A – more useful documentary evidence checklists