Deadline for submission of CRM12s
Organisations wishing to apply for slots on the crime duty rota starting on 1 April are reminded that the final deadline for submission of CRM12 forms to the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) is
23:59 on 13 January.
CRM12s received by 12:00 on 9 January will be checked and organisations will be contacted if there is any missing information. Please note that these checks will not be performed on any CRM12s received after this date.
The LAA has introduced the additional measure of a declaration by the compliance officer for legal practice (COLP) on the CRM12. This includes confirmation that:
all duty solicitors will meet the attendance requirements in the 2017 Standard Crime Contract
attendances will be undertaken for the organisation to which the slots have been allocated
each duty solicitor will undertake 14 hours' contract work per week from the office for which they derive their rota slots and
they have made reasonable enquiries of each of these duty solicitors to confirm that they have not applied for duty rota slots with another organisation.
Compliance with the 2017 crime contract
You should also ensure that your organisation and duty solicitors can comply with the new duty solicitor provisions set out in Section 6 of the 2017 crime contract - in particular 6.37, a breach of which is a fundamental breach and could result in recoupment of payments made.
You should be aware that duty slots currently belong to the organisation and not the individual duty solicitor. This was the case with the 2010 crime contract and will continue under the 2017 contract. The position if a duty solicitor leaves an organisation has been clarified in paragraphs 6.29-6.34 of the 2017 contract.
However, we would also draw your attention to the CRM12 guidance note issued in December that states: 'Where the LAA receives CRM12s from multiple organisations it will not take into account that duty solicitor for the April 2017 rota. It will contact the affected organisations to advise that they resolve any disputes as to which CRM12 should be accepted so that the duty solicitor may be taken into account for the July rota.'
Our understanding is that where this occurs the LAA will not deal directly with individual duty solicitors who are named more than once and that all organisations naming the duplicate duty solicitor will lose the affected slots until the July rotas.
Read the LAA's guidance note
See the 2017 Standard Crime Contract