LAA changes assessment of emergency certificates
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Administrator
Yesterday, the LAA informed the representative bodies that it would be changing its approach to assessment of emergency certificates immediately. As far as we are aware they have not made a public announcement yet. Usually, such lack of notice would attract criticism; but perhaps practitioners should hold fire on this occasion. First, because the issue relates to the situation where an emergency certificate expires before a substantive is issued. As emergency certificates last for eight weeks, the change will not affect people immediately. Second, because the change is an improvement for practitioners. Up to the change, if a substantive certificate followed seamlessly with no break in time, the limitation on the substantive would also apply to the period covered by the emergency certificate (as per point of principle 58).  However, if there was a break between the two, work in the intervening period would not be covered and the limitations to each would be applied separately. From 13 October, the LAA said it will treat work done in any intervening period as being conducted 'at risk', and will be paid for if the substantive certificate covers all the work undertaken. We understand that the LAA will shortly be updating the Electronic Handbook and making an official announcement of this change.  

About the author(s)

Description: Vicky Ling - author
Vicky Ling is a consultant specialising in legal aid practice and a founder member of the Law Consultancy Network.