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Option to refer account to Edinburgh/local agent added to Legal Aid Online
Tuesday, Apr 16, 2019
You will be able to use the new account screens on Legal Aid Online to submit civil time and line accounts following our next deployment on Tuesday 23 April.
The civil accounts final accounts products previously released were restricted to block fee accounts.
An Edinburgh/local agent function will be available in Court of Session cases if you provided the Edinburgh agent details in the CIV/SOL application and these have not changed.
Where Edinburgh/Local agent details have been entered within the CIV/SOL you will now have the option to refer the account to the Edinburgh/Local agent if you so wish. Referring the account to the Edinburgh/Local agent will give them limited access to LAOL and allow them to add their work items to the account.
This retains the process that requires each agent to frame an account detailing the work undertaken.
What are the benefits of using the online system where you have instructed an Edinburgh/local agent?
- The system displays all the work items within one account
- It is easy to identify which work items belong to which practitioner
- The system automatically calculates the fees due to each solicitor
- The option to select a half fee is available, in line with historical taxation practice and where appropriate, to accommodate the circumstances where a fee to both the nominated as well as Edinburgh/local agent is allowable in respect of the same or similar work activities
- Offers and negotiations can also be referred to the Edinburgh/local agent
- Notifications are provided advising of progress.
As the nominated solicitor you retain full control of the account. The Edinburgh/local agent cannot update the synopsis, change the account type or submit their account/negotiations to SLAB. The responsibility for these remain with nominated agent.
If an Edinburgh/local Agent has been registered for the case, you provide them with access to the account by pressing the ‘Notify Account to Local Agent’ button. When pressed, a notification will be sent to the Edinburgh/local agent informing them that they can now access the account and add work items.
How can you identify which work items belong to the nominated solicitor and which items belong to the Edinburgh/Local Agents?
The work items added by the Edinburgh/local agents are easy to identify as these are shaded in green. The total fees claimed by each firm is also displayed separately.
Once the Edinburgh/local agents have added all their work items they should select ‘Notify Account to Nominated Solicitor. This will generate a notification alerting you that the Edinburgh/local agent has added all their work items.
How do I claim the half fee where appropriate?
To claim a fee at half the amount, to reflect the historical taxation practice, the apportionment feature within the relevant work item should be used. The on-line work item detail is completed as normal but by entering the number “2” within the apportionment field this will reduce the fee by half.
What if you have instructed an Edinburgh/Local agent and the ‘Notify Account to Local Agent’ button is not visible on the account?
The ‘Notify Account to Local Agent’ button will only be displayed if the Edinburgh/Local agent was recorded on the CIV/SOL application. If the button is not visible, or the Edinburgh/local agent details displayed are incorrect, it will not be possible to use this function at this time. A function to allow the details to be updated will be taken forward in the near future. In the meantime you can continue to select the Edinburgh/local agent within individual work items and the drop down list of practitioners.
What happens if the account is paid on offer?
Where the final account is submitted online the offer will be sent to you. As the nominated solicitor you can, if you wish, forward an offer to the Edinburgh/local agent.
If you want the Edinburgh/local agent to respond to any abatements you will send them a notification alerting them that the offer is available to view. The Edinburgh/local agent can then accept or reject the abatements, to their work items only, and then refer back to you. Once all the abatements have been addressed you will be responsible for submitting the negotiation to SLAB. It is never possible for the Edinburgh agent to submit a claim/negotiation directly to SLAB. It must always go through the nominated agent.
Can the final account be submitted in paper format?
The final account can be submitted in paper format, however both firms should agree on whether the final account is to be submitted online or in paper format. There is no facility allowing one firm to submit an online final account and the other firm to submit a paper account.
Training and guidance
Guidance covering the functionality of the new accounts products is currently being prepared and will be published prior to the new products being released. We will notify you when the guidance is available.
The guidance section on our website currently contains training videos and interactive PDFs for the accounts products that are now live. Including the new paper account process.
Please open the Guidance 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 currently available for the products previously rolled out.
For further information or to arrange a webinar:
Christine Connerton, Digital Services Marketing Officer: firstname.lastname@example.org
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