The LSC has commenced consultation through representative bodies on the Very High Cost Case Panel.

Background

The government issued Legal Aid Reform: The Way Ahead in November 2006. This stated its intention to implement Lord Carter's proposals to create a Panel of VHCC providers.

The LSC assert that this would best be achieved by offering experienced defence teams, who had met quality standards, the probability of increased or more consistent volume in return for some reduction in hourly rates.

Plans for delivery

This consultation document sets out the detail of how the LSC plan to deliver the first Best Value Panel for VHCCs.

Whilst the LSC has retained most of the key principles of Lord Carter's recommendation, their detailed work has identified a number of practical features, which need to be changed.

These reflect, among other things, the LSC's experience from other tender processes, and are mainly to do with selection criteria, structure/control of the application to join the Panel and the bidding process.

The document also includes changes to the proportionality of fee scales.

The documents covered by the Consultation are :

  • VHCC consultation document
  • draft VHCC contract highlighting the proposed changes
  • best value protocol for VHCCs
  • draft information for applicants.

In addtion to the consultation document below, you can also download the Annexes: -

Closing date

The closing date for this consultation is 23 March 2007.

Responses are welcome from individual practitioners via their representative bodies.

All responses (including the cover sheet) should be sent to:

Carter VHCC Project Team
Legal Services Commission
4th Floor, 29/37 Red Lion Street
London
WC1R 4PP

Email: CarterVHCC@legalservices.gov.uk

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