Very High Costs Cases: Legal Aid
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Which cases are considered very high costs cases: Legal aid?
A civil law case which is funded by legal aid will be considered a high costs case when it is likely that the level of costs incurred will exceed £25,000. The most common types of civil law cases which are funded by legal aid include family, prison law, clinical negligence, education, housing and actions against the police. Vey High Costs Cases (legal aid) in civil law are managed by the Exceptional and Complex Case Team.
In family matters, including private and public law cases, all single, Queens Counsel, 2 counsel, and and advocate cases are dealt with by the Very High Costs Case (VHCC) family team.
In a criminal law case which is funded by legal aid, the case will be considered a Very High Costs Case if the trial is estimated to be more than 50 days. In these types of cases, parties should notify the Legal Aid Agency using a VHCC Notification Form.
Costing Very High Costs Cases (Family)
The main methods of costing these types of family law cases include:
- Care Case Fee Schemes – These are used in some child cases and private law cases which follow a fact finding route and main hearings are expected to last more than ten days. Using a Costs Case Fee Scheme, events will have a set value and costs will be determined in reference to these events. The type of scheme used will depend upon whether the case is being executed by one single solicitor advocate of counsel, or two counsel or solicitor advocates or a Leading Counsel.
- Detailed (fully costed) case plans – These are used in case cases that the Legal Aid Agency has considered to be exceptional, as well as all other family cases. A detailed case plan will be required as soon as parties are notified that the case is a high costs case. The plan should set out a description of the case, prospects of success, issues to be investigated (both legal and factual), details of costs, details of experts and counsel used.
How can ARC Costs Assist?
We can further assist in quantifying and negotiating inter-partes costs in legally aid funded cases. We are always happy to help with costs challenges/queries and can provide information on dealing with inter-partes costs in legal aid matters.
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