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Alice H
Alice H, Solicitor/Partner
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2850
Experience:  Partner in national law firm
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I need advise on legal aid claim. My recent legal aid bill

Resolved Question:

I need advise on legal aid claim. My recent legal aid bill claimed from my solicitors was a set fee of 235 pound for the solicitor and 500 for the barrister. The legal aid agency through there collection company rossendales is claiming I owe in excess of 5000 as they say it was based on my income contribution. This seems ridiculous as if I went private bill would of been only 1500. I need to know can they claim more than what the legal aid bill was.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alice H replied 1 year ago.
My name is ***** ***** I am happy to help you. Were you found not guilty? Did the Judge make an order for you to make a capital contribution?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi There. I was issued a contribution order on the 05 / 01 saying I should pay 1266 per month. Dated back from the 17/10. My case was on the 14th Jan. I was advised by my solicitor to hold tight as case was on the 14th Jan. I was found guilty. I have not heard anything since and received a letter a couple of weeks back asking for order of production of statement of means. I have sent this back. However, I have never received or heard anything else. However my solicitor no longer works for the firm but they confirm they received 235 pounds and the barrister 500 in legal aid. They say they cant comment as it is out of their remit and understanding.
Expert:  Alice H replied 1 year ago.
OK I understand the position clearly. The LAA is only entitled to an amount equal to the defence costs incurred by your defence team. So £735 is the entitlement based on the information you have given me. You need to tell your solicitor and barrister to lodge their bills and then inform Rossendales of the amount being claimed. So long as the court did not make any other order, your liability is only th amount paid to the solicitor and barrister. Until they submit their bill, the LAA through Rossendales will continue to claim the contribution but (perversely) would refund any excess.
Expert:  Alice H replied 1 year ago.
I should say that until the case is concluded and the lawyers have submitted their bills the LAA will not be able to reconcile their accounts and will continue to see payment of any outstanding contributions.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Great advise. I presume as a production of statement of means is issued does it mean a CCJ is issued? Also even if this is an order to pay can I appeal it? Regards Mark
Expert:  Alice H replied 1 year ago.
No, CCJ will only be issued if court proceedings have been instituted. Your only "appeal" against the contribution order is if the LAA made a mistake calculating the contribution order. However, if the figure has been correctly calculated, the contribution is due and payable.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry Alice. I am confused. The criminal solicitor advised as a order of production of statement of means was issued by the County court it would of meant that a CCJ would of been issued. Is this correct? I have attached it.
Expert:  Alice H replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for the document. The LAA has already sued you for nonpayment of the contribution so there is a judgment against you. If you haven't settled the judgement you need to do so as soon as possible or come to an arrangement to pay the outstanding sums. The document is asking you to provide information to the court, failure to do so could result in your being sent to prison for contempt.
Alice H and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have completed the document and sent it across. I await to here from them. As I have never heard from them and as the amount is clearly incorrect am I able to argue the case. I have definitely never had any court paper or advised of legal action can I defend this? Also I presume they are seeking the full amount based on the fact they have never received final invoices from the solicitor and barrister. Happy to pay extra for the continued advise.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
have completed the document and sent it across. I await to here from them. As I have never heard from them and as the amount is clearly incorrect am I able to argue the case. I have definitely never had any court paper or advised of legal action can I defend this? Also I presume they are seeking the full amount based on the fact they have never received final invoices from the solicitor and barrister. Happy to pay extra for the continued advise
Expert:  Alice H replied 1 year ago.
Thanks. Are you saying you never received the claim form from the County Court?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Definitely not just the attached document you have received. I would never have left something like this and I have never received anything fro rossendales chasing.
Expert:  Alice H replied 1 year ago.
If you did not receive the claim form then you should apply to the court to set aside the judgement. However, in order to succeed you will need to demonstrate not only that you did not receive the claim form but also that you have a defence and have a reasonable chance of success. On the infromation you have provided it appears the amount being claimed is correct - it's a claim for the original contribution due under the legal aid order, so as a matter of law it's unlikely that you will succeed in your claim. I think your best chance of getting this settled is by your solicitor submitting his bill, the LAA accepting the reduced sum and the judgment being settled for the reduced sum.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Would you therefore recommend I get a solicitor involved? They would therefore need to get the legal bills from my solicitor and then to try and present this to the LAA. I presume the LAA would have an obligation to accept the error? If it is proven that the total amount paid is say 735 could there be a risk of the the total 5235 having to be paid or do I have a strong arguement?
Expert:  Alice H replied 1 year ago.
No, you don't need to incur the additional legal costs. The best thing is to push your solicitor and barrister to lodge their claims as soon as possible and present this to the LAA. Once a reconciliation takes place and they accept that only the lesser sum is due, you can apply to cancel the judgement.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Great thanks.
Expert:  Alice H replied 1 year ago.
My pleasure. All the best - please let me know if I can assist any further. Alice :)