Restrictions on mental health providers carrying out advocacy work in the first-tier tribunal.
Mental health providers are reminded of the restrictions on advocacy before the First-tier Tribunal that were introduced on 1 August 2014.
With the exception of self-employed counsel, individuals must be accredited to carry out legally-aided representation before the tribunal under the 2014 standard civil contract.
The relevant accreditation is available through the Law Society’s mental health accreditation scheme – see below.
This restriction is an important step in improving the quality of representation at the tribunal and has been welcomed by all stakeholders working in this area.
Providers should be aware we will be checking that advocacy has been carried out by an appropriately accredited individual when assessing these files.
This includes all file reviews, assessments and audits carried out by our teams in operational assurance, contract management, and the mental health unit’s escape fee team.
Any advocacy that has been incorrectly claimed will be reduced down on assessment, and the breach of contract will be referred the firm’s contract manager to consider further action.
If you have any question about the new rules, please email our mental health unit by emailing – see below.
Email questions about the new rules
Published: 20 November 2014
From: Legal Aid Agency