Important to follow correct process to avoid possible distress for clients
If your client decides to withdraw from the legal aid process it is important that we are properly informed of the change in arrangements.
You will need to write to the Crown Court dealing with the proceedings to explain that your client wishes to withdraw.
In addition, if no claim is to be made on the legal aid fund, e.g. your client is paying privately, we will require an undertaking to that effect from you and the advocate.
This is so that we can instruct the Debt Recovery Company to end all collection activity. This undertaking should be made in writing to the relevant National Courts Team.
The information you will need to supply is detailed under section 12.4 of the Criminal Legal Aid Manual (see below).
We can only keep the Debt Recovery Company properly informed about your client?s situation if you follow the correct process.
This will help to reduce the possibility of distress to applicants through collection activity.
It is important to note that the Collection and Enforcement Agency will not necessarily end collection activity if your client withdraws their legal aid application.
If your client has arrears on a Contribution Order when they withdraw then you can expect collection activity to continue unless an undertaking is provided.
Should you have any queries about the process please contact the National Courts Team.