Since 19 April 2019, a cost limit of £25,000 has applied to many family law cases. The LAA has also changed the requirements regarding evidence for changes to certificates. This will no longer be required in advance, but can submitted at the end of the cases. According to the LAA, the changes to the rules will reduce the administrative burden on legal aid suppliers and lead to a reduction in delays when opening a new case. The changes have also been backdated for ongoing cases.
The new rules were designed in consultation with family legal aid lawyers. Chris Minnoch, director of the Legal Aid Practitioners Group, told Legal Action: ‘Bev Watkins from the LAPG board was heavily involved in a pilot of the changes and Jenny Beck, our co-chair, helped design the rule changes with the LAA’s Process and Efficiency Team.’ Minnoch believes that ‘this is a very good example of collaborative work between the LAA and providers’ and that the LAA hopes to expand this approach to other areas of certificated work.