Legal Aid

Tips to avoid slip-ups with VHCC claims

PUBLISHED August 14, 2013

Reduce the chances of reviews that delay payments for Very High Cost Case claims

We?ve pulled together some tips to help you get your claim for crime Very High Cost Case (VHCC) work processed smoothly.
When claims are missing information, or submitted incorrectly, it may mean elements of the claim are disallowed.
1. Use the correct task list template
Ensure you use and fully complete the correct task list template, including the core details tab.
There are separate forms for the 2008 Panel Contract and the 2010 VHCC Contract.  Both forms are clearly labelled and colour coded: 
  • blue for the 2010 VHCC Contract 
  • green for the 2008 Panel Contract.  
2. Claim under correct heading
The task list has columns for preparation, attendance at court, travel and waiting, and disbursements.
If work is claimed under the wrong column it slows down the audit process and can lead to the claim being disallowed.  
3. Provide page counts for agreed rates
Where a page rate has been agreed for a task, you need to provide the page count for the material that was considered.  There is a column in the task list for doing this.  
4. Travel and subsistence
You need to clearly set out the travel and subsistence you are claiming.
This means providing an itemised breakdown, including details of the disbursement, the task it relates to, date, fee earner, and start and end points. 
This will help the auditor to reconcile the total being claimed and ensure it complies with the LAA travel policy.
Supporting receipts and/or tickets must be supplied for disbursements over £10 and all subsistence claims.  
5. Attendance notes and work logs
It is a contractual requirement that attendance notes and work logs contain the following information:
  1. Date
  2. Time of day
  3. Task number
  4. Comprehensive description of VHCC Work completed
  5. Total time spent
  6. Volume/page count of material considered
Details are set out in paragraph 5.5 of the VHCC contract specification. 

Further information

Justice website: Crime High Cost Cases