Legal aid FAQs - authorities

Q1.   What documents do I need to upload to seek an authority for an experts report?

When seeking authority for an expert you will need to provide information to confirm why the authority is being sought and provide any supporting documentation for same e.g. a court order, counsel’s direction etc. 

In relation to the costs of the expert, you will need to produce details of the proposed expert (to include their CV), copy of interparty correspondence with the expert and a detailed breakdown of their fee estimate to include:

  • the hourly rate to be applied,
  • whether VAT is chargeable,
  • the number of hours they propose to expend on each aspect of the report (e.g. reading time, consulting with/examination of the assisted person, writing report),
  • their daily fee for court attendance.

Where reading time is sought please confirm the number of pages which will be briefed to the expert. Further, please confirm whether the assisted person will need to travel to meet/be examined by the expert. If the report is being sought on a joint instruction basis, please make this clear in the application.

The Agency will require three comparative fee estimates for each request. Please note that estimates from the experts working within the same umbrella company are not considered to be comparative. Where efforts have been made to seek comparative estimates, which have been unsuccessful then evidence will need to be produced of this. Further, where only one or two experts are available within a field then we will also require evidence of this. 

Where an addendum/supplementary report is being requested we will need to see the original letter of instruction, the letter of instruction in relation to the addendum and detailed representations as to why the addendum is necessary and why the issues were not addressed in the original report.

Please note that the Agency does not pay for expert’s administration/booking costs or cancellation fees.

For guidance on how to submit an authority request in LAMS, refer to Section 20.0 of the LAMS Supplier Manual.

Q2.   How do I raise a dispute about the refusal or modification of an authority request?

You should submit a Review – Authority Request and set out in detail what you wish to challenge and the reasons for same.

For guidance on how to submit a review request in LAMS, refer to Section 21.0 of the LAMS Supplier Manual.

Q3.   I have got authority for an expert but they can no longer complete the report. I have identified another expert who will complete the work. How do I get the authority amended?

We can no longer amend authorities which are granted. However, we can void the existing authority and replace it with a subsequent one. Please follow the usual process to seek authority for an expert and set out in the narrative that it is sought in place of the previous authority quoting the reference number of the authority if possible. If the Agency are content with the second application we will indicate in the grant that the previous authority is revoked.

For guidance on how to submit an authority request in LAMS, refer to Section 20.0 of the LAMS Supplier Manual.

Q4.   If I have submitted a request and it has not yet been determined but it has now become urgent. How do I escalate this?

In the first instance, you should send a message, against the appropriate request, to alert us to the new situation and set out (in detail) the urgency. All messages are monitored on a daily basis and will be escalated if an urgency is established.

For guidance on how to submit a message in LAMS, refer to Section 30.0 of the LAMS Supplier Manual and 'Messaging' in the Instructional Videos.

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