Legal Aid

Our clerks are very experienced in dealing with legally aided cases and are well versed in LAA regulations.

We will send fee notes indicating the amount counsel has claimed whenever any work has been completed. These fees are always provisional and can be adjusted by the LAA. The fee notes are indicative of the likely fees and are provided to you to ensure the financial limit on the public funding certificate is not exceeded. The LAA normally write directly to you when counsel has been paid and with details of any reductions to counsel’s fees. We may however be appealing any reductions made and would ask you to contact us to confirm the position.

Public Funding Certificates

When you instruct counsel please ensure that where it is available the brief to counsel includes the most up to date public funding certificate. Where no public funding certificate is in place or where the certificate does not cover the work undertaken by counsel we will look to you for payment of counsel’s fees. If this case is being dealt with under a VHCC or is likely to become a VHCC please could you contact the clerks at the earliest opportunity.

Content of Instructions

The LAA insist that instructions to counsel clearly state:

  • what type of hearing counsel is instructed to attend upon
  • the estimated length of that hearing
  • the time the case is listed
  • the time counsel is ordered to attend (when it is earlier than the court start time)
  • that counsel is to advise the client in conference at court prior to the hearing

Without this information it will be impossible to claim for counsel’s fees from the LAA and this may subsequently delay any claim you make.

Delivery of the Brief

In order that the case can be properly prepared please ensure the brief is delivered within the following time scale:

  • Up to 1 day in length – 3 working days before the hearing
  • From 2-5 days in length – 5 working days before the hearing
  • From 6-10 days in length – 10 working days before the hearing
  • Cases in excess of 10 days – to be agreed on a case by case basis