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Latest from the LAA

legal aid agency-logoAs you are no doubt aware, the LAA will be introducing a number of reforms to Civil and Criminal Billing designed to cut costs across the board. As a result of these changes, the billing process will become increasingly complex with more rules introduced in an attempt to profile cases with greater accuracy.

Due to the complexity of the proposed changes, IT will play a leading part in the implementation of the billing process as defined by the LAA. The processes are liable to change with increasing frequency, which will add to the overall complexity of billing.

DPS Software sit on the LAA Software Vendors’ working group and are party to the latest information on legal services reforms. Our close working relationship with the LAA enables us to prepare for changes and ensure that the impact on our clients is significantly reduced.

Scott Ridley, Technical Director at DPS Software recently attended an LAA meeting at which the following changes were proposed. The LAA have announced a three phased process of Delivery Transformation for Criminal and Civil Billing, including optional electronic submission.

Starting in April 2010, electronic file opening will be rolled out. Electronic submission for Civil Billing is anticipated to have a 10 year shelf life. The LAA have not put forward a road map for Criminal Billing system as yet.

DPS Software will be adapting their crime case management software (and the criminal billing module in particular) to include a data exchange facility which will pass through information from the DPS system to the LAA to prove eligibility for legal aid. The system will also include the facility to scan online directly to an LAA file. DPS Software will be offering bulk upload of the CMRF, which will be introduced in December 2009.

The LAA also discussed the latest on the consultation on the rate fees for Criminal Billing.  It is expected that these changes will go through.

Other points discussed at the recent meeting include:
• By October 2010, the LSC will introduce standard fees to Matrimonial Law, capping graduated fees.
• Electronic Management Information (EMI): the LSC announced plans to provide and on-screen financial statement which can be used by DPS Cashier users for validation.

A full breakdown of the meeting can be found here.

A number of reforms to Personal Injury Law have been announced by the Ministry of Justice. A new system for the handling of road traffic accidents claims between £1,000 and £10,000 will be put into place over the coming months. DPS Software are aware of these changes and will have a beta system available for use in January 2010. We will be issuing a client release in due course but if you would like to find out more in the meantime please email


Added By: DPS Software | Date Added: 6th Nov 2009

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