Criminal reaccreditation scheme on hold

Posted by - 5th October 2012

The Law Society has announced that it is to postpone plans to reaccredit criminal solicitors every five years. The Society consulted in April on a proposal that members of the Criminal Litigation Accreditation Scheme (CLAS) should undergo a regulatory check every five years confirming that they had completed the requisite six hours of CPD and

Read More

Tender: amendments to the IFA

Posted by - 27th September 2012

Since the Information for Applicants (IFA) has been launched, we have received several queries about the meaning of one of the selection criterion, writes David Gilmore. This was the criterion about full time equivalent supervisors. The criterion (A.3) is: ‘By the contract start date will each of the applicant organisation’s offices from which it is

Read More

UPDATE: LASPO and welfare benefits

Posted by - 21st September 2012

In a Written Ministerial Statement published on Tuesday, the Government announced the legal aid position on welfare benefits advice. For more information see HERE. What welfare benefits work will be covered by legal aid after April 2013? Appeals to the First-tier Tribunal in Social Security and Child Support for all welfare benefits cases (including housing

Read More

Law firm franchises: ‘It’s not rocket science. Firms can do it themselves.’

Posted by - 20th September 2012

Face2face, QualitySolicitors, Lawyers2u, highstreetlawyer… the list of law firm networks, franchising operations and collective marketing ventures is growing as the profession steers a tricky course through recession-hit Britain, liberalisation of legal services and the fallout from LASPO, writes Elizabeth Davidson Part one of this article looked at the options available for legal aid firms who

Read More

Second chance to submit PQQs

Posted by - 10th September 2012

The Legal Service Commission (LSC)  has announced today that it will be providing organisations a second opportunity to complete a Pre Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) for a face-to-face contract from April 2013. See LSC website for details HERE. See elsewhere on LegalVoice for background HERE. The PQQ will be open for any organisations wishing to undertake

Read More

Implementing change

Posted by - 4th September 2012

In the last few years the firm that I work for (Redmans Solicitors)  has engaged in a radical restructuring of the way it works and markets itself. In this series of posts I’ll write about our experience (both good and bad) and give some pointers on what I think small to medium-sized firms should be

Read More

Plans for tenders for face-to-face contracts out

Posted by - 4th September 2012

The Legal Services Commission last week published its procurement plans ahead of invitations to tender (ITTs) for face-to-face contracts. The LSC will be opening tenders for contracts from April 2013 in the following categories of law: Family Housing Immigration & Asylum Housing Possession Court Duty Scheme The plans are available HERE. The ITTs will open

Read More

From SQM to Lexcel

Posted by - 29th August 2012

The SQM Delivery Partnership – the Legal Services Commission’s national auditing body set up to conduct Specialist Quality Mark (SQM) audits in England and Wales – has reported that 888 legal providers have completed SQM audits in the first 7 months of 2012, writes Stuart Lee. These providers are likely to be conducting public-funded work

Read More

Comfort in numbers: is there any point in joining a franchise?

Posted by - 28th August 2012

With competition hotting up in the legal sector, firms are looking for comfort in numbers, writes Elizabeth Davidson. The options available include joining a franchise like face2face or QualitySolicitors, a network like highstreetlawyer or a marketing venture like lawyers2u. (Pic: Amanda Holden at the launch of QualitySolicitors’ legal access points – the idea is to

Read More

Welfare Benefits: in scope or not?

Posted by - 3rd August 2012

The Legal Services Commission’s contract managers have been conducting informal assessments of files and I have been receiving a number of queries from not-for-profit (NfP) agencies because cases advising on entitlement to benefits appear to be disallowed on a fairly regular basis, writes Vicky Ling. It is clear that the goalposts have moved since the

Read More