Civil news: payments for VHCC care cases from 1 October 2015
Very High Cost Case (VHCC) care cases for 1 advocate or solicitor-advocate to operate under new fixed fee model from 1 October 2015.
All care cases with 1 advocate or solicitor-advocate will normally be paid under a revised fixed fee model starting on 1 October 2015.
This is known as the Very High Cost Case (VHCC) Care Case Fee Scheme, which is being simplified so that from 1 October there is:
- one combined case plan and claim form
- online calculator to help cost your claim
The scheme is for work carried out by a single advocate or solicitor-advocate. It has been developed and amended following discussion and consultations with your representative bodies.
What is the current situation?
The Care Case Fee Scheme (CCFS) is already in operation as 1 of 2 payment claim options for work carried out by advocates and solicitor-advocates.
The alternative is to submit a fully costed case plan. This will not normally be available from 1 October 2015. However, there are ‘exceptions’ – see below.
Training modules are now available to familiarise yourself with the new CCFS process. These are on the provider training website – see below. Contract managers will provide support where appropriate.
Checklists and information packs are also being made available on GOV.UK.
In addition, you will be able to trial the new form and online calculator. But these should not be used for claims before 1 October 2015.
How does CCFS work?
CCFS was previously known as the ‘events’ model. Examples of ‘events’ include the number of hearings, pre-hearing reviews and counsel conferences.
Costs are calculated by totalling up these ‘events’.
Starting on 1 October 2015 all single counsel care cases will be paid under CCFS. The only exception will be if you can show you would be paid at least 30% more by claiming hourly rates with a case plan rather than using the CCFS model.
This needs to be for justified reasons and include any enhancement under a full case plan.
What about 2 counsel care cases?
Arrangements for 2 counsel care VHCCs remain unchanged.
Can the fixed fee model be used elsewhere?
Fully costed case plans will remain for other public and private law cases. However, you can ask to use the fixed fee model based on ‘events’ and the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) will let you know if it is suitable.
You can find out more about how to apply in paragraph 19 of the CCFS information pack. This is available to download on GOV.UK – see link below.
Civil high cost cases: family – to download information packs and checklists and test new form and online calculator
Provider training website – to download CCFS training modules
Published: 4 August 2015
From: Legal Aid Agency