Knock of Nigel

We spend a lot of our time assisting firms avoid LAA attempts to recoup or restrict costs. These largely involve cost appeals of one sort or another and increasingly mechanisms to refuse to fund new cases.

Here, however is another new initiative, to designed to turn you into “benefits snoopers”. Do read it all however this is the threat:

We found a provider had breached their contractual duty to report doubts over their client’s eligibility.

Following a joint investigation with the DWP:

we declined to pay a £20,000 legal aid bill to the legal aid firm and
the client was convicted for failing to declare several thousand pounds of earnings.

The firm’s mistake was to accept the client’s assurances that she had reported earnings of several thousand pounds a year as a self-employed masseuse.

Joking aside this seems an important issue. It would therefore be nice to see a full transcript of the above case, ideally backed with some guidance on the LAA’s thoughts on the extent of your duty to investigate clients declared means and the subsequent reporting requirements.

Anyone remember this

About Author: SP

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