Return of the Autorecbots?

A couple of reports have reached us of firms not being paid this months SMPs, one of some considerable importance. This is usually enough to suggest that there might be something of a wider pattern – so if it has happened to you please let us know.

It is of course possible that these are isolated errors or even that there is some firm specific rationale for a nil payment. If the latter is the case however there should have been some advance communication with the firm, under the “SMP Reconciliation Protocol”, as per SCC General Specification 4.30.

“Should the SMP require amending then the Account Manager will give at least 1 month’s written notice of the change to the SMP level”.

In either eventuality this is a pretty serious breach of Contract.

If these are genuine mistakes we all know that they have set contractual error tolerance at a big, fat Zero. They should either hold themselves to the same standard or show greater understanding of genuine human error. The impact of this mistake also has much greater potential prejudice to legally aided clients (and the firm) than the vast number of Contract Notices they issue.

If it involves willfully ignoring the Protocol, then it is much worse and probably worthy of the issue of a Termination Notice.

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One comment on “Return of the Autorecbots?

  • And under the SRA’s outcome focus regulations, if this none payment results in cashflow difficulties a firm should report it.

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