Whilst we are on the subject of costs adjudications we did some interesting Freedom of Information delving before last Christmas.
Most appeals, like the one referred to in the link above (post below) are now undertaken in the Region in which the “business delivery centre” is based. You may have a view as to whether this is right or wrong, I tend towards wrong but understand the possible practical ramifications of the alternative. What does worry me is that this is already eroding local panels and if, like in Birmingham, virtually no appeals are being processed in that RO, this will only get worse.
The lack of a national policy was exemplified by recent discussions in Birmingham, indeed the Regional Director was unaware of the lack of adjudications going to the local panel. (There has subsequently been some detailed correspondence on the subject and more cases will be off to the Bullring!)
Most disturbingly however are the individual area office stats.
Now in Nottingham, which by some margin deals with the largest volume of appeals, even a casual glance suggests a fairly even distribution of available work across quite a sizeable panel. A more detailed number crunch confirms this. So if your appeal is processed in Notts you get a roughly random chance as to who your ICA will be.
Compare that to to Liverpool and you see a different picture. Here 4 of the 14 civil panel members dealt with 58% of the appeals (one doing 22% of these alone) and 5 of 15 did 62% of the crime. Not quite as even a spread. This, however, is nothing. In Newcastle two thirds of appeals went to 2 of the 11 members utilised and in Manchester one adjudicator alone handled nearly half of civil cases (I did wonder if this was a typo). Once allowances have been made for the difficulty of ensuring equal distribution, availability etc., there clearly has to be something not quite right here.
I do of course have my suspicions as to what that is, based in part on personal experience.
The LSC might well want to take steps to ensure that fairness is being seen to be done.

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