For the preparation that solicitors must undertake when sending a hearing from the magistrates’ court to the Crown Court through the Legal Aid Agency’s CWA (Contracted Work & Administration) online system, law firms can claim a new fixed fee. The new fee can be claimed under Magistrates’ Court representation orders issued on or after Monday 19 October 2020. Team LAWFUSION has been on top of this change since it was announced in September 2020, in terms of reflecting the new fee within the LAWFUSION software. Up until very recently, the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) were still fine-tuning their guidelines regarding the new fee. However, now their guidelines are set, Select Legal Systems has been able to issue the software enhancement in its latest release. It is now part of the billing functionality for representation matters in the LAWFUSION Legal Aid Crime Module.
This is one of several new crime legal aid fee changes in a series from the LAA in the last few months, that have all been reflected within the LAWFUSION software. Any Crime firm that has LAWFUSION as its main business system can now rest assured that as well as the ‘Sending Hearings’ fees, all the new Unused Material, Paper Heavy Cases and Cracked Trials fees are available for claiming via the LAWFUSION Litigator Graduated Fees Scheme (LGFS) and Advocate Graduated Fee Scheme (AGFS) functionality too.
Joanne Hunter, Head of Marketing for Select Legal Systems said, “For the new fees, some software suppliers rely on a spreadsheet provided by the LAA to facilitate their users’ submissions. The spreadsheet option is of course open to LAWFUSION users too, however, we have made the new fees fully functioning options of the fee schemes in our crime software module. The module automatically generates an XML file with all the relevant data users need to be able to upload their submissions to the LAA portal, making LAWFUSION a far more streamlined and efficient option.”
For further information about the LAWFUSION Legal Aid Crime Module, or any other aspect of the LAWFUSION Practice Management System for law firms, please call LAWFUSION sales on 01482 567601 during 9 to 5.30pm office hours. After hours, please complete the LAWFUSION online enquiry form and a member of the team will be in touch by return.