Legal aid FAQs - claims against public authorities

Q1.   How do I make an application for an employer’s liability claim?

You will need to make an application to representation higher. Depending on the estimated value of the case you will need to select which court tier you are seeking a certificate for. 

Q2.   What information do LSANI require?

Please provide the following:

  • Key dates relating to the proposed claim.
  • A full statement from the applicant describing the events which give rise to the claim.
  • Detailed statement from solicitor analysing the likely key issues and allegations in the proposed claim, including any likely problems or inconsistencies in the applicant’s case.
  • Details of the proposed defendant(s).
  • Response of other party, confirmation if liability has been accepted and details of any settlement offers.
  • The monetary value of the claim.
  • The likely cost of the action.

Claims against the police

  • Whether a complaint has been pursued to the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland and its outcome (or an explanation of why no complaint has been pursued).

Claims against the prison service

  • Whether a complaint has been pursued to the Prisoner Ombudsman for Northern Ireland and its outcome (or an explanation of why no complaint has been pursued).

Assault claims

  • Whether an application has been made to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme and its outcome (or an explanation of why no application has been made).
  • Whether the assault allegation arises in the course of the applicant’s employment and if there are any related proceedings or other related parties.

Historical abuse / legacy / collusion cases

  • A clear statement of the evidence available to support the claim.
  • Identification of any limitation issues and how they might be dealt with, including the date the applicant first made the complaint and/or instructed solicitors.
  • Identification of any other potential proceedings which are or might shed further light on the allegations in the case, including any inquests or historical enquiries, with relevant report if applicable.

For guidance on how to submit an application request in LAMS, refer to the Section 16.0 of the LAMS Supplier Manual and ‘Submitting an application’ section of the Instructional Videos.

Q3.   What documentation should I provide with my application?

We will require:

  • Any police reports of relevant incidents.
  • Any relevant custody records.
  • Relevant interparty correspondence.
  • Witness statement(s) if applicable.
  • Copy proceedings (if same have issued).
  • If action is on behalf of a deceased person, the 'Grant of Probate' or 'Letter of Administration'.

For guidance on how to upload a document in LAMS, refer to the ‘Uploading a document’ in the Instructional Videos.

Q4.   What type of certificate will I receive?

Generally, the Agency will limit the certificate to certain steps in proceedings so as to minimise the exposure of the fund in the early stages of the case. Often certificates will initially be limited to issue and service of pleadings, discovery and inspection and thereafter all steps up to but excluding setting down/certificate of readiness, to include instructing counsel for advice and directions on proofs. When a limitation has been exhausted, you should follow the amendment request process to seek either a further limitation or a full certificate.

For guidance on how to submit an amendment request in LAMS, refer to Section 19.0 of the LAMS Supplier Manual.

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