Why instruct us?
We possess a level of expertise and ability unmatched by other consultancy firms in the UK.
- Amongst other unique selling points:
- we have been instructed by the Legal Aid Agency’s predecessor body, the Legal Services Commission (LSC) to train a large number of their auditors;
- many of our consultants previously held senior management and legal roles at the LSC;
- we have an extremely high success rate when assisting with appeals;
- our non-practising solicitors are able to work closely with clients and counsel to achieve a successful outcome; and
- we will provide honest opinions on the merits of a matter on a no-obligation basis.
- Due to our combined experience, we are able to offer consultancy on all Legal Aid Agency (LAA) contracting, tendering and business management matters in addition to performance management and quality assurance.
We provide consultancy advice and assistance in the following areas:
We provide advice and assistance in preparing for and managing the outcome of LAA audits, inspections and verification activities including:
- Contract Manager’s visits (previously known as Financial Stewardship Audits);
- Contract Compliance Audits;
- Onsite Audits (previously known as Control Audits);
- Costs Assessments & Exceptional Case Costs Assessments;
- Peer Review;
- National Audit Office Audits; and
- Verification Visits & Data Validation Audits.
We can also provide advice and assistance as well as in-house training on contract compliance and quality standards to ensure that organisations and their staff members understand their obligations and know precisely what the LAA expects at audit.
We have lodged hundreds of successful appeals against a variety of different audits and assessments.
We are also experienced in representing firms and providing advocacy at the Contract Review Body which ultimately decides whether to uphold the LAA’s decisions to terminate civil or criminal contracts.
Points of Principle
Commonly misunderstood, a point of principle is an opportunity to clarify or interpret the rules in relation to claiming costs.
Following an appeal, we are able to advise whether it is appropriate to apply for a Point of Principle of General Importance to be lodged. Our consultants have significant experience in both lodging and (while at the LSC, the LAA’s predecessor body) assessing applications to certify a Point of Principle of General Importance.
New Applications for a LAA Contract
We have helped dozens of new providers to set up their organisations and enter the legal aid market by obtaining a LAA civil or criminal contract and obtain a relevant quality standard (Specialist Quality Mark or the Lexcel Standard). We have a 100% success rate where instructed and are able to guide providers through every step.
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Alternatively, there is our popluar retainer service.
The purpose of the retainer service is to ensure that organisations are one step ahead of the game by maintaining a managerial system which meets or exceeds the requirements of the LAA and the SRA Handbook (and which meets the Specialist Quality Mark or the Law Society’s Lexcel Standard). This leaves the organisation with a feeling of control and able to concentrate on fee earning.
In addition to maintaining the quality assurance system, we also provide advice and assistance on major reforms being introduced by the LAA and the SRA.
The retainer service is tailored to the needs of the client. The service includes unlimited advice and assistance and an agreed number of visits to the client’s offices each year.
We can provide further details about our retainer service upon request.