Look After the Pennies

Twice this week clients have used an almost identical version of

“Is it just me or are the LSC trying to claw back every single penny they can?”

Andy has just said the near same thing.

Yesterdays conversation involved a cost neutral VAT matter – “if, acting on your advice*, we have wrongly claimed VAT please take this letter as my written authority to negotiate its repatriation from HMRC to the LA fund”. Doubtless this will not happen and the partner of this firm will spend valuable time resolving the problem i.e. it will cease to be cost neutral.

Today Andy is looking at “stand alone breaches” which will form part of an LSC, CDS, Claim Splitting audit, which, I said the following about just last week:

You ask for my view on the billing of stand-alone breach matters, at the suggestion of Mr A Keogh. This is an issue he and I have discussed on a number of occasions, and one we both would like to see resolved, once and for all, by a Point of Principle. On every occasion clients of mine have faced such a finding we have appealed to an ICA and won. Most recently the firms involved were (redacted). Both have consented to being named so that your Contract Manager can contact her colleagues from the Provider Assurance team to confirm this outcome.

The interpretation we have always applied to the rules is a literal one; “heard at the same time” means just that – in the same Court, on the same day, alongside substantive proceedings. The LSC’s alternative, which amounts to little more that the existence of a concurrent Representation Order, was rejected on both above occasions.

ICA findings are not precedent setting however we have never lost on the point. The matter could, of course, simply be resolved by a referral to the Cost Appeal Committee. I believe that your Regional Director retains the power to make such a direct referral which might well prove the most sensible option. I, and I am sure Mr Keogh likewise, would be happy to present our position to the CAC, pro bono of course, in order to clarify the and avoid this all too frequent “reinvention of the wheel”.

New mission statement?

*LSC not JRS we know nothing of this thing you call VAT.

About Author: SP

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *