Lawyers reach agreement on Legal Services Commission's family help pilot

04 Oct 2005

Following last minute negotiations with the Legal Services Commission (LSC), Resolution has written to its members in the Family Help pilot areas to say that the Commission has made sufficient improvements to the terms of the pilot to meet its concerns. Resolution believes that this represents a real improvement in the terms of the pilot scheme.

The Commission have agreed to:
A 15% enhancement for all accredited panel members
An assurance that they will seek to address any loss of income by firms as a result of the pilot
Consider what incentives they should develop to encourage solicitors to carry out their own advocacy
Monitor the factors that cause complexity in cases, such dealing with clients with mental health problems or with cases with a foreign element.

David Emmerson, Chair of Resolution’s legal aid committee said: “on some matters the Commission has not been able to meet our immediate concerns but has given reassurances that they will look further at these issues, such as additional fees for advocacy and at the factors that lead to complexity in cases. We now believe that this gives sufficient reassurance to enable firms to consider whether to join the pilot scheme”.