Is a hard-copy certificate provided?
A hard-copy certificate will be provided to the applicant.
Solicitors will be provided with an electronic certificate that can be printed by the solicitor if required.
This certificate will be available at all times in LAMS.
Do solicitors still need to sign applications?
You will be required to login to the LAMS system. As these login details are personal to you (and should not be shared with other users), we will be able to identify who is submitting a request.
You will be required to agree to a declaration in LAMS prior to submission of a request.
What do I do about signatures on applicant declarations? Will clients still be required to sign applications? What evidence will be required to support the signature?
The applicant’s declaration sheet must be printed at the time of taking instruction, signed by the applicant, scanned and then uploaded to LAMS in support of the application.
The hard copy should be kept by the supplier for audit purposes.
If applications are no longer printed, how do I confirm that a client is content with all the information I have submitted?
As part of the application, after all information has been input onto LAMs, an applicant declaration is printed for signing. It is the supplier’s responsibility to make sure the applicant is happy with what has been entered before signing.
A signed declaration confirms that all of the information they have provided to their solicitor is true and accurate.
Where the advice and assistance is given without access to LAMS, the applicant will be expected to sign a paper proforma with the same declaration.
In cases such as bail applications, LAMS “understands” that the applicant cannot sign and the system allows for that.
Do parents /guardians still need to sign in cases involving minors?
The associated person will be required to sign the appropriate declarations.
What happens in relation to situations where the applicant is not physically in the office e.g. confined to home, in hospital, in a police station / prison or abroad?
The supplier is not prevented from submitting an application request if the applicant is initially unable to sign the declaration. At the declaration stage the supplier is asked why the applicant has been unable to sign the declaration. The declaration can be signed and uploaded at a later date.
For any situation where the supplier does not have access to a digital device, the LSANI website has proformas available for the supplier to download and print off a hard-copy to carry with them. The proformas, which include the applicant declaration, are available for download in PDF format so that you can record case information offline and obtain a signature in circumstances where you do not have access to a digital device (e.g. at police stations or on prison visits). The information from the proforma should then be entered on to LAMS and the applicant declaration should be scanned and uploaded in support of the application request. The proforma is for supplier use only and should be retained by the supplier for their own records.
Is there a change to the process for applications for exceptionality?
These applications are now submitted electronically on LAMS.
How do I seek authority and request payment for an expert who is jointly instructed?
In a case in which an expert has been jointly instructed, each solicitor should separately seek part authority and when appropriate, submit a part claim for payment.
How do I request an interpreter?
Suppliers should submit an authority request to engage an interpreter.
If the authority request is granted, the interpreter organisation will need to be attached to the case which will then allow the organisation to make their request for payment directly to LSA through the LAMS system.
What do we do if a request is pending for a long time?
If a supplier is experiencing a delay (more than our published KPI's) in dealing with an application or request, we would encourage the use of the messaging facility to request the reason for the delay.
This means that a record of the conversation will always be attached to the case/request.
If you specify a scale fee in a payment request, do you need to itemise entries line by line?
If a scale fee is claimed, a supplier has to enter the other adjournment and interlocutory fees just as they do now.
There is no change to the process of how fees are claimed, just the method.
How do I submit a payment request for a criminal case in which the defendant has absconded and a bench warrant is issued?
You should submit an interim payment request for costs when the bench warrant is issued and defer submission of a report on case until the case is eventually disposed of.
Why do we have to fill in travel time? If we put in two locations, LSA know what they are willing to pay us so why do we have to put in quantity and notes?
The travel time has to be entered in order to populate the claim.
Without putting the travel time in, the payment amount cannot be calculated.
The notes box can be used to substantiate any irregularities with a claim.
On the query screen why can we not see what has been dealt with and why can we not see the client reference that the query refers to?
When LSA send a query, the request status changes to 'Queried'.
When you address the query, the request status changes to 'Resubmitted'.
By accessing the case you will be able to find the client reference.
Other than Flex, who can be set up as a third-party payee? What can they see in the system?
'Action for Hearing Loss' is another third-party payee.
Third-party payees see summary case details and details of their claim and payments.
Is AA backdated to date of initial advice?
The 'date of initial advice' is captured at the time of application and any work done from that date will be covered by that application request.
For Guardian ad Litem cases, is a signature needed?
LSANI will accept the guardian ad litem confirmation form which is generated by NIGALA and sent to the court and solicitor as proof of appointment by the Guardian ad Litem. The proof of appointment must be uploaded to LAMS as part of the initial application.
Is it possible to just change a court tier on the application or do we still need to submit another application as we do now?
As per previous practice, where the court tier changes a new application is required.
Why do we have to fill in travel in the notes of a payment? This is not currently required under the legislation.
This is not a mandatory field.
It is there so that the supplier can add details for clarification to avoid queries, for example, if payment is claimed for more than one journey on any date.
Is the format for travel time a full stop or colon?
It's a colon (2 hours travel time should be entered in the format of 2:00).
If a request is withdrawn by LSA, can we access it to redo it or do we have to start again?
That would depend on why the application was withdrawn. It can be reopened by the Agency if the circumstances permit.
Why do appeals for payment have to be done online? Will we be required to do this for each payment received?
As per current practice, all appeals for payment will be submitted against each payment received but electronically rather than on paper as they will be automatically linked to a case.
Much of the case information previously required will no longer be necessary.