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Family and housing contracts extended for another year

12 November 2010

Existing family and combined family-housing contracts have been extended until midnight on 30 November 2011, the Legal Services Commission has announced.

“The LSC is further extending these contracts until late next year so as to give certainty to providers and clients alike,” a spokesman said.

The contracts were previously extended until 14 December 2010 following a ruling earlier this autumn that the decision allocating the new contracts was unlawful.

In a judgment on 30 September, Mr Justice Moses said the new contract offers should be quashed because the criteria were published too late for solicitors to take action.

He directed that firms that previously had a family legal aid contract with the LSC would be able to continue to work under its terms for the time being.

On 27 October the LSC conceded defeat, announcing it would not appeal the ruling and extending the expiry date of existing family-related contracts to midnight on 14 December 2010.

The LSC said it will also allocate new matter starts to cover the period from 15 December 2010 to 30 November 2011. That allocation will be set out in the new contract schedule which will be sent to providers before 15 December 2010.

An announcement on the harmonisation of family fees will be made by ministers as soon as it possible to do so.

Under the comprehensive spending review, the MoJ has agreed to cut £350m from the legal aid budget. Private law work family work is expected to be among the casualties.

Categorised in:

Legal Aid Children Marriage & Civil partnership Vulnerable Clients