Thursday, September 02, 2010

The legal aid contracts saga, continued...

Further to this post, Nearly Legal now reports that the LSC has changed the answer to the question on its FAQ asking what a successful applicant should do if they are not able to deliver all the matter starts that they have been allocated.

The new answer begins: "You will be required to deliver both the volume and breadth of services for which you have successfully tendered and been allocated matter starts in accordance with your bid and ranking", but goes on to say: "However, as part of the verification process the LSC is giving successful applicants who are concerned that they will not be able to deliver the volume allocated to them an opportunity to review their allocation and request a reduction".

As Nearly Legal states, the practical effect of this is still that the LSC can or will drop the required matter starts if the applicant doesn’t think they can do them, "but now hedged behind a presumption that [they] will do the matter starts and a request/considered response process on the part of the LSC". He says: "I can only assume, being a tad cynical, that this is an attempt to avoid a challenge of the kind hypothesised in my earlier post". Hmm...

What happens to the matter starts that are 'returned' remains a mystery. Nearly Legal favours the conclusion that: "The LSC is quite simply terminally confused about what the hell it is doing." I wouldn't argue with that...

Meanwhile, in the Gazette today, Law Society President Linda Lee explains why the Society had to issue formal proceedings over the family legal tender.

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