Information for the public About us

Online Accounts redevelopment screens – Frequently Asked Questions


From the calls received we have identified the most frequently asked questions. Our responses are set out below.


If you click on a question more information will appear to help answer your query.

Questions relating to the new process for submitting paper accounts:

When entering the breakdown of the claim on a paper account. I have to enter a date for each expenditure work item. What date should I use?

When claiming paper work items you should use the date of the last work item in your account.

 

Where my account includes fees for mileage, for example to court, can this be included in the figure I enter at the lodged total for paper fees?

No. You should not include travel outlays within the paper fees only time spent travelling.

There is a separate work item for travel outlays which should be used to cover all travel costs i.e. mileage, accommodation, bus, train etc.

 

When I select paper account travel should I include vat in the total payable?

No. In the paper process the VAT is added on for you.

 

How do I complete the work breakdown on a paper account?

You must use the correct work items.

Charges relating to fees, outlays, travel and experts must all be entered separately.

Failure to do this can lead to delays in dealing with your account.

 

Why can’t I use the new process for submitting paper accounts in a full civil or children's account?

You cannot use the new process for submitting a paper account in full civil and children’s accounts as these products were not released as part of our accounts redevelopment phase 1 and 2.

You can still use the current process of submitting these with your paper synopsis.

 

When can I use the new process for submitting a paper account?

The following account types may be submitted using the new process. However, as our new online system includes those noted below, where possible these should be submitted using this process rather than sending in a paper account.

  • Criminal A&A and ABWOR accounts where there has not been a previous claim submitted using the old screens
  • Solemn accounts where there has not been a previous claim submitted using the old screens
  • Civil A&A & ABWOR where the case did not progress to full civil legal aid
  • Children's A&A & ABWOR where there has not been a previous claim submitted using the old screens
  • Civil A&A & ABWOR where a previous account, interim payment has not been submitted using the old account screens
  • Summary time and line where there has not been a previous account submitted using the old account screens.

 

When should I use the old process of submitting a paper account?

The following accounts can still be submitted using the old process of submitting a paper account together with the paper synopsis (printed and sent by SLAB):

  • All full civil accounts (final and interim payments)
  • Children's legal aid accounts
  • All accounts, regardless of aid type, where a previous account, interim payment has been submitted using the old account screens
  • Civil A&A accounts where the case progressed to full civil legal aid (tandem accounts)
  • Summary and ABWOR transferred accounts where you are directed to do so as one of the agents has rendered his account using the old paper submission process.

 

 

Questions relating to online accounts using the new system:

I have framed or I am about to frame an online solemn case and the case category is incorrect. How do I amend this?

Our update of 21 January 2016 advised firms that they should ensure the case category is correct prior to framing an account.

 

Why, in some account types are there different work items for court work?

Following the regulation changes on 10 November 2014 on the fees for time at court and travelling, it was necessary to create specific work items for work undertaken at court.

Where work is carried out at court, it is important that you select the appropriate work item. When you select the wrong work item we may have to abate the account creating further work for yourself and SLAB.

The following is an example of the work items you should select when you attend court but have had a meeting with your client before and after the hearing:

Meeting Court (Qualified) - 11:15 -11:40

Court (Qualified no counsel) - 11:40 -12:30

Meeting Court (Qualified) - 12:30 -12:45

 

In solemn accounts, when I add a work item for automatic cover under S.22 why does the system say this work is pre legal aid?

You will only be able to add a work item for automatic cover under S.22 if you have correctly answered the question ‘Was work undertaken under the automatic availability provisions’.

This question appears on the ‘summary tab.’

[Click on screenshot for larger image]

accs redev 1

 

How should I claim for multiple deferred sentences on the new online system?

You must include all deferred sentences in every case regardless of whether a fee is being claimed.

The first or second diet of deferred sentence are automatically set at £0.00 (unless the SER box is ticked)and the system has now been set up to allow you to enter a £0.00 fee by answering ‘yes’ to ‘have you previously claimed for this?’

You must also advise us of all related reference numbers.

 

How do I claim for the £25 SER report?

This fee is now contained within the work item for the first/second deferred sentence.

If you tick ‘yes’ to the question about the report this will update the zero fee for the deferred sentence to £25 for the report.

However, the SER must conclude the proceedings for the fee to be chargeable.

Where the SER is claimed incorrectly (for example, where there is a subsequent deferred sentence diet) this would create an error on the account that would require to be amended prior to submission.

[Click on screenshot for larger image]

accs redev 2

 

Why does the system pay VAT on top of travel expenses which already include an element of VAT?

Guidance provided by the HMRC many years ago indicated that travel (and accommodation) costs incurred by solicitors when providing a service to the client will attract VAT on them regardless of whether this was on the original purchase.

 

What should I do once I have added all the work items and now wish to submit this?

You need to make sure you have selected all work items prior to pressing the ‘request payment’ button.

[Click on screenshot for larger image]

accs redev 3

 

Can I delete my online account?

You can delete a draft account by selecting the ‘bin’ icon. If you have submitted your account you will need to reset it to draft before it can be deleted.

You will not be able to delete an account once the status has changed to under assessment or paid. It should be noted that once deleted you will not be able to retrieve it.

[Click on screenshot for larger image]

accs redev 4

 

Can I send a message or paper letter for a negotiation?

No. All online offers should be negotiated using the online process.

Attachments can now be added at the offer stage for specific work items.

Where the attachment does not relate to a specific work item you should submit your negotiation to SLAB prior to attaching such a document.

To attach you then click on the click paper clip icon. You should NOT attach such documents before submitting your negotiation to SLAB.

 

How do I respond to a negotiation using the redevelopment screens?

To do this you should click on the negotiate work items icon. This will open up the work items that are under negotiation.

If you are repeating the same message on each you can copy and paste in to the relevant boxes.

[Click on screenshot for larger image]

accs redev 5

 

If in response to an offer, I only need to upload an attachment, do I still need to respond to the offer using the negotiation process?

Yes. If a work item has been abated because you did not send the appropriate attachment then you will still have to create a negotiation in addition to attaching the documents.

Failure to create a negotiation may result in any additional payment being delayed.

 

 

Training and guidance

We have set up a guidance section on our website where you will be able to access training videos and interactive PDFs for the Phase 1 and 2 products as well as the new paper account process.

Please open this page and bookmark it so that you are able to access it easily whenever necessary. A link to the guidance section has also been added to the LAOL login screen.

WEBINAR’s are available for the products rolled out in phase 1 as well as the phase 2 products.

For further information or to arrange a webinar, please contact:

Christine Connerton, Digital Services Marketing Officer: connertonch@slab.org.uk


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