What do the 03/06/19 & 15/07/19 LAA revisions to the High Costs Care Case Fee Scheme (CCFS) 2 Counsel model mean in practical terms?

Posted 26.07.2019

When do the changes apply?

From 03/06/2019 for all Care proceedings where prior authority has been granted for either QC alone or QC & Junior, or for 2 Junior Counsel, or for a Solicitor Advocate to appear with QC or Junior Counsel and are anticipated to exceed £25,000.

The scheme may also be used, at the LAA’s discretion, in complex private family proceedings anticipated to exceed £25,000, particularly those that follow a fact finding and welfare process similar to care proceedings.

What’s new?

  • Upon prior authority being granted the LAA will assume costs will exceed £25,000 and that a CCFS Form (2 Counsel) will be submitted unless you confirm that costs will be less than £25,000.
  • The LAA will set up a CCMS case plan task to which you will need to upload a signed High Cost Case Contract and signed Counsel Acceptance Forms. You will also be able to request a costs limit increase to £60,000.
  • You won’t need to submit an interim CCFS Form (2 Counsel) unless your costs will exceed £60,000
  • If your costs are likely to exceed £60,000 or a previously agreed higher figure you will should submit an interim CCFS form although with prior agreement of all Counsel instructed you may submit the CCFS Form (2 Counsel)  at the end of the case. However be aware submitting a CCFS form at the end of proceedings is likely to have financial implications on you and Counsel as the costs limit will not be increased until a contract is in place.
  • No later than 3 months after the case has concluded you will need to submit a fully completed Final CCFS Form (2 Counsel) detailing the actual hearings / events which have taken place and been attended, and provide supporting documentation as specified in the Final FAST checklist.

Are the revisions a good thing for lawyers?

  • Yes – The changes may assist to aid cash flow and should help reduce waiting times for the LAA to agree high costs case contracts.
  • You will also have certainty as to the amount to be paid dependent on the number of events.
  • It is important to continue to keep a close eye on your costs and review regularly to ensure you know when the £60,000 threshold may be reached and to enable you to submit accurate POAs.

What do I need to know as a provider?

  • The CCFS 2 Counsel Model is not mandatory. You may still elect to submit a fully detailed case plan at hourly rates together with an enhancement if that is more suitable for the case.
  • If you wish to submit a fully detailed case plan you must to do within 20 working days of the prior authority being granted. If you do not submit the case plan within this time frame the LAA will assess your costs under the CCFS 2 Counsel Model.
  • Whichever model you elect to use you will still need to know what your actual costs are to request an accurate POA and what your predicated costs will be to ensure the correct procedure is followed.

What needs to happen in CCMS?

Once prior authority has been granted within Client and Cost Management System (CCMS) you will need to:

  1. Upload the signed High Cost Case Contract and signed Counsel Acceptance Forms.
  2. You will then need to apply for a new cost limit of £60,000 via a cost amendment.

Can I still submit claims for interim payments?

  • Yes – Once the signed High Cost Case Contract and signed Counsel Acceptances forms have been submitted and the costs limit increased to £60,000 interim payments can be made for all costs and counsels fees to date up to the £60,000 threshold.
  • Interim payments for costs beyond the £60,000 threshold can be made once the contract has been agreed, signed and uploaded, signed Counsels forms uploaded, and the agreed contract costs limit increased.
  • Interim payment submissions for 100% POA of the number of events incurred to date can be made after any main hearings or after each 6 month period.
  • If you have elected to submit a fully detailed case plan at hourly rates you will be able to submit your staged interim claims once the contract has been agreed, signed and uploaded, signed Counsels forms uploaded, and the agreed contract costs limit increased.

Need advice?

Call our high costs team for free advice on 03333 441 654. Whatever it is, we will probably have dealt with it before!

 Can you do it for me?

Yes. We offer a variety of services to assist with High Costs Cases.

We can:

  1. Provide an interim costing to assess whether your costs are likely to exceed the £60,000 threshold and to compare which pricing model is preferable.
  2. Provide advice on the best pricing model for maximising your costs.
  3. For CCFS (single counsel) or non Care High costs cases we can prepare your request to register a case as High Costs.
  4. We also offer a full management and processing service for your high costs cases so you can do the fee earning job you love without spending billable time on processing cases through CCMS.

 

Contact Rebecca Bidwell for a tailored quote on 03333 441 654 or via rebecca.bidwell@bidwellhenderson.co.uk

 

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Specialising in billing through Tikit P4W they fit with our services portfolio perfectly. They consistently hit the mark first time – demonstrating the quality of their work and professionalism of their team, whilst more importantly improving client cashflow.

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In addition to providing an efficient, tailored and exceptionally pro-active service – they strike the perfect balance of friendly and professional.

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