Is an app available for smart phones and tablets?
Currently there is no app available, however suppliers could create a shortcut to the home screen of their tablet or smartphone.
Why can administrative staff not submit applications, etc?
The system design reflects current legislative requirements which state that applications for legal aid must be made by the supplier.
The interpretation of a supplier in the legislation means the solicitor or counsel, where applicable, being requested to provide funded services to an individual.
Administrative staff will be able to prepare and draft legal aid requests on behalf of the supplier who must then review and complete the appropriate declaration prior to submission to LSA.
Administrative staff can, where appropriate, pick up and respond to messages and queries.
What aspect of the system do barristers have access to?
Where a certificate is granted with an authorised level of representation, the barrister(s) must be attached to the case. When a barrister is attached they will be presented with a case summary. This summary will include the legal aid reference; instructing solicitor firm; instructing solicitor; level of service; nature of proceedings and court tier.
From this summary screen, a barrister has the ability to:
- submit a request i.e. a payment request (where appropriate), an exceptional preparation authority request and an appeal
- view requests they have submitted
- view the certificates in force for the case
- view any forms, letters and messages to / from LSANI
- view their payment history (Claimed v Assessed values) in the case they are attached to
- withdraw from the case.
I have lost my supplier reference, how can I access it?
If you are attached to a business, the account administrator will be able to provide you with your supplier reference number.
If you are not attached to a business, the LSA will be able to provide you with your supplier reference number.
Why can solicitors who are employees of one firm also be attached to another?
LAMS has been designed to allow solicitors to be attached to multiple firms as we understand that there are occasions when a solicitor may be required to act in more than one place of business e.g. working in the voluntary sector, Law Society interventions, winding up a practice. This reflects Article 10 of the Solicitors (Northern Ireland) Order 1976.
The Agency was also conscious of comments made by practitioners that any attempt to limit a solicitor access to their particular cases would create an administrative burden as every time that solicitor was unavailable to deal with an issue, was on prolonged absence or left the firm, the account administrator would have to go into the system and reassign a solicitor to the case.