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Guidance for legal aid providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
Processes and payments
It has also published guidance on:
- processing and payment for legal aid providers
- working with clients and making applications
- quality compliance issues
For hardship and interim payments scenarios, see the Crown Court fee guidance.
Changes to the court assessment of legal aid bills
In August 2020, HMCTS announced that it was transferring the majority of court assessed bills in-house to the LAA.
We launched judicial review proceedings against the LAA and the lord chancellor – mainly on the grounds that there had been a significant policy change affecting providers without any proper consultation.
As a result, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) launched a consultation in February 2021.
Courts and tribunals
HMCTS has published advice and guidance for all court and tribunal users during the coronavirus pandemic, including:
- a list of open, staffed and suspended courts
- guidance on changes to court and tribunal hearings
- information on keeping court and tribunal buildings safe and clean
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has brought about a fast and widespread transition to remote hearings while participants could not attend court or tribunal buildings.
Keeping safe and virtual working
Returning to work
As solicitors return to the office in the coming weeks, it’s important that firms:
- complete risk assessments
- begin consulting with staff
- take all the necessary steps to ensure their employees’ safety
- ensure everything’s in place before people return to the office
Legal aid updates
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