Policy on Payment of Fees

Lucy Reed made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Legal Services Commission

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Roedd y cais yn llwyddiannus.

Dear Legal Services Commission,

I would be grateful if you could provide the following information under the Freedom of Information Act.

1
Please provide a copy of all written policies, written instructions and operational procedures (including those sent by email) circulated to LSC staff or in operation between 1 January 2011 to date concerning the circumstances in which counsel's claims for payment of fees for legal services pursuant to the Family Graduated Fee Scheme may or should be rejected by staff at the LSC processing such claims. In particular please provide any policies, written instructions or operational procedures concerning the rejection of claims for payment based upon apparent deficiencies in the Special Issue Payment form, for example relating to court seals or judicial initials / signatures.

2
Please provide a copy of all written policies and all written instructions or operational procedures (including email instructions) circulated to LSC staff or in operation between 1 January 2011 to date concerning the circumstances in which counsel's claims for payment of fees for legal services pursuant to the Family Advocacy Scheme may or should be rejected by staff at the LSC processing such claims. In the event that it is not possible under this scheme to distinguish between different categories of advocate please provide the policies in respect of all claims for advocacy. In particular please provide any policies, written instructions or operational procedures concerning the rejection of claims for payment based upon apparent deficiencies in the FAS Advocates Attendance form, for example relating to court seals or judicial initials / signatures.

3
Please state the number of claims for payment made by counsel under a) the Family Graduated Fee Scheme b) the Family Advocacy Scheme which were received and rejected between 1 January 2011 and 31 December 2012.

4
In respect of each group of claims identified at 3 a) and b) above, please state the number of such claims that were rejected because of apparent deficiencies relating to the Special Issue Payment Form or Advocates Attendance Form. In the event that the LSC does not record the numbers rejected for this reason, please provide a breakdown by reason for rejection using such categories as the LSC does maintains records for.

Yours faithfully,

Lucy Reed

FOI (LSC), Legal Services Commission

Dear Ms Reed,

Thank you for your email, received by the Governance Team at the Legal Services Commission.

Your request has been logged under the Freedom of Information Act under the log number FOI-11/5757. A response will be provided as soon as possible and no later than 17 February 2012.

Kind regards,

Governance Team
Chief Executive's Office
Legal Services Commission

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

FOI (LSC), Legal Services Commission

1 Atodiad

Dear Ms Reed,

 

Please find attached our response in relation to your Freedom of
Information request.

 

Kind regards,

 

Governance Team

Chief Executive’s Office

Legal Services Commission

 

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Dear Legal Services Commission,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Legal Services Commission's handling of my FOI request 'Policy on Payment of Fees'.

You have confirmed that you hold all the information I have requested.

You have confirmed that you would be able to provide all of the information within the time limit save in respect of q3b and 4b.

You say that the aggregated costs to respond to all the requests would be disproportionate.

Regulation 5(2)(a) of The Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004 provides that the costs of a number of requests may only be aggregated where the requests "relate, to any extent, to the same or similar information". I do not agree that the requests you have aggregated relate to the same or similar information.

Questions 1 and 2 are requests for information on LSC policy and instructions to staff.

The information requested in questions 3 and 4 is of a wholly different nature - those requests are requests for statistics.

The same point applies in respect of questions 3a / 4a as compared to questions 3b / 4b, where the same question is asked but of entirely different and separate schemes, and in circumstances where your response makes clear the data is held separately (you say that the FAS statistics in particular would be time consuming to provide).

Further, the information requested under Question 1 relates to policy in respect of one scheme (FGFS) whilst that sought under Question 2 relates to an entirely different scheme (FAS).

There is no overlap between questions 1 and 2, nor between questions 1 / 2 and 3 / 4. There is no overlap between questions 3a and 3b, nor between 4a and 4b. The information sought in each request is wholly different.

Please would you now reconsider the costs of my requests separately. I note that requests 1 and 2 are requests that will require the LSC simply to collate information, rather than extracting information by way of running reports or computing statistics and I do not therefore expect them to run into difficulty on the grounds of disproportionate amount of time if considered separately.

I note that in respect of questions 3b and 4b (FAS statistics) there is an argument made as to disproportionate time to extract the requested information. For the avoidance of doubt, I would welcome the LSC responding to questions 1 and 2 even if refuses to respond to questions 3 and 4. It would of course be far more cost effective for the LSC to respond in this way than to await and process a subsequent request, for comprising only of questions 1 and 2.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/po...

Yours faithfully,

Lucy Reed

FOI (LSC), Legal Services Commission

Dear Ms Reed,

Thank you for your email, copied below.

I can confirm that your request for internal review has been passed to the Legal Department for handling and a response will be provided by them no later than 19 March 2012.

Kind regards,

Governance Team
Chief Executive's Office
Legal Services Commission

The LSC's Head Office is moving. From 25 February 2012 the Governance Team's contact details for postal correspondence will be as follows:
Governance Team, Chief Executive's Office, 8th Floor (8.40), 102 Petty France, London, SW1H 9AJ

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

FOI (LSC), Legal Services Commission

4 Atodiad

Dear Ms Reed,

 

Please find attached the Legal Director’s response to your request for an
internal review in respect of the above referenced FOI request.

 

Kind regards,

 

 

Governance Team | Chief Executive's Office | Legal Services Commission |
8th Floor (8.42) | 102 Petty France | London | SW1H 9AJ

 

This e-mail (and any attachment(s)) is private and intended solely for the
use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. Its
unauthorised use, disclosure, storage or copying is not permitted. If you
are not the intended recipient please destroy all copies and inform the
sender by return e-mail.

Internet e-mail is not a secure medium, as messages can be intercepted and
read by someone else. Please bear this in mind when deciding whether to
send information by e-mail. Postal addresses for the Legal Services
Commission are available from
http://www.legalservices.gov.uk/aboutus/...

The Legal Services Commission reserves the right to monitor, record and
retain any incoming and outgoing e-mails for security reasons and for
monitoring internal compliance with the Legal Services Commission policy
on staff use. E-mail monitoring and/or blocking software may be used and
e-mail content may be read. You have a responsibility to ensure laws are
not broken when writing or forwarding e-mails and their contents. No
contracts can be entered into on our behalf by e-mail.

Any views or opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not
necessarily represent those of the Legal Services Commission.

The Legal Services Commission checks all e-mails and attachments for known
viruses, however, you are advised that you open any attachments at your
own risk.

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.