Legal Aid Contracts from 2018 – update
Current contracts with the Legal Aid Agency will come to an and in 2018
The Legal Aid Agency – LAA will shortly be launching a Procurement Process – to decide who can offer Legal Aid from 2018.
The last procurement process was the trigger for me to decide to set up my own practice.
Firms which wish to continue to offer legal aid will apply through procurement process for new civil legal advice and civil face to face legal aid and family mediation contracts which will now open in May 2017.
We remain committed to offering a legally aided service and renewed our quality standard – the SQM or Specialist Quality Mark in 2016 to ensure that we are ready for the tendering process.
It will be interesting to see which firms do/do not apply to renew their legal aid contracts.
Sadly, a number of Devon/Somerset firms have ceased offering Family Legal Aid in the last 5 years – including Ashfords, Clarke Willmott, Foot Anstey, Michelmores, and even smaller firms such as Butler and Co and Risdon Hosegood.
We fully expect more firms to drop their legal aid offering this time around – which will be a shame, but given that legal aid pay rates have not risen for over a decade, and have even been cut, and given also the level of bureaucracy surrounding legal aid, it is hardly surprising.