LAA Online Portal: Legal Aid Cases and Costs
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What is the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) Online Portal?
The Legal Aid Agency online portal is a platform used in claims funded by government aid. It allows providers of the Legal Aid and LAA staff to access specific forms, reports, documents and administration tools online. The portal facilitates the use of 7 separate applications that each have a different role for the function of the business. For example, the Contracted Work and Administration (CWA) application allows acceptance of Legal Aid contracts. Alternatively, the Management Information (MI) application permits representatives to see their organisations financial details. When billing services are required, the legal aid representative can use the Client Cost Management System (CCMS).
How is the LAA Online Portal accessed?
The portal is accessed by visiting the LAA Online Portal on the Government’s website. It must only be accessed by Approved Representatives or Instructed Counsel. This may include individuals employed by the Authorising Organisation, a practising barrister or an individual who possesses a ‘right of audience.’ To access the portal, the representative will be provided with a logon.
Who Operates the LAA Online Portal?
The Legal Aid Agency, an agency of the Ministry of Justice, operates the portal. They are a government funded organisation who ensure that the general public have access to justice. They do this by funding legal advice and services for eligible individuals.
What are the Benefits of the LAA Online Portal?
By utilizing an online platform, the speed that actions can be done with is massively increased, allowing swifter conclusions of claims. Furthermore, it is a secure platform which serves to protect data extremely well.
Legal Aid Costs
Often in family or care matters, an order for detailed assessment of a legally aided parties costs is directed. This entitles the Legal Aid Solicitor to recoup their costs from the LAA, unless an inter-partes costs order has been made.
It should be noted however, that if a successful litigant receives any damages during a legal aid funded case (this can be common in ancillary relief or civil disputes), legal aid recipients may be required to pay back a portion of the awarded sum to the legal aid agency from part of their settlement (the statutory charge) or if they keep or gain property under legal aid representation, and if the full amount of legal costs are not recovered from the opponent in any inter-partes costs dispute.
Full guidance can be found in the Civil Finance Electronic Handbook.
How can ARC Costs assist with Legal Aid Costs?
Our team can provide extensive assistance when handling costs for claims funded by Legal Aid. Our Legal Aid Costs Draftsman and Costs Lawyers are happy to process and submit your LAA costs claims via CCMS on your behalf if you so wish, and we often deal with the entire costs administrative process for many law firms.
As a paperless law firm, we also see the benefits of working electronically. This aids us in our 7 – 14 day turnaround from instructions on LAA claims, as we do not waste time sifiting through mountains of files or printing off hundreds of documents. Furthermore, we are able to access your system remotely. This allows us to access files rapidly and ensures that our clients can monitor the work being completed.
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