Solicitors must allocate costs for counsel advocacy instructed through the Client and Cost Management System (CCMS).
Advocates instructed through CCMS should make sure that the solicitor has allocated costs to them at the start of the process.
This will help ensure their certificated billing isn’t rejected.
Advocates can only claim costs up to the designated level once they have been allocated.
If costs are not allocated this may cause payment delays for both providers and advocates.
Advocates should check, on instruction whether the case is being processed:
- through CCMS or
- using the old paper process
For certificated bills submitted on both CCMS and paper, solicitors must ensure:
- all advocacy fees have been paid before submitting their claim under the Family Advocacy Scheme or Family Graduated Fee scheme
- amount paid matches the allocated cost limit on CCMS or the amount specified on the paper claim form
Checking payments against claims
By doing this, you allow us to:
- make sure that advocacy fees are all paid before we settle the solicitor’s final bill and close down the certificate
- determine any refund or statutory charge liability once solicitor’s final bill is paid
- check that any assessment on the claim takes into account work carried out by advocates
- make sure all work is within the cost limit
Completing the counsel matrix – see link below – makes it easier for us to check for discrepancies.
Published: 17 August 2016
From: Legal Aid Agency