Payments on account in publicly funded cases

Purpose: To inform barristers regarding payments on account in publicly funded cases

Scope of application: All practising barristers

Issued by: The Remuneration Committee

Status and effect: Please see the notice at end of this document. This is not "guidance" for the purposes of the BSB Handbook I6.4.

In some publicly-funded civil cases, barristers are made a payment on account from the Legal Aid Agency (LAA). Occasionally, a final report or final claim for costs is never submitted by the solicitor and the LAA may seek to recoup the payment on account.

The Bar Council has worked closely with the LAA to address these circumstances. To read this document, please click here

As supporting documents, below are revisions to the LAA's standard letter and standard report form.

LAA standard letter

LAA standard report form

Members of the Bar will sometimes be contacted by the LAA's Debt Recovery Unit regarding requests for repayment of previous overpayments. In these circumstances The Bar Council recommends that barristers speak to their clerks regarding the regular financial statement/reports that the LAA supply in order to investigate the history of the particular overpayment, and then seek to engage constructively with member of staff at the Debt Recovery Unit who contacted you, in order to resolve the matter. The Unit also has a general email address: dru@legalaaid.gsi.gov.uk.

Important Notice

This document has been prepared by the Bar Council to assist barristers on matters of professional conduct and ethics. It is not "guidance" for the purposes of the BSB Handbook I6.4, and neither the BSB nor a disciplinary tribunal nor the Legal Ombudsman is bound by any views or advice expressed in it. It does not comprise - and cannot be relied on as giving - legal advice. It has been prepared in good faith, but neither the Bar Council nor any of the individuals responsible for or involved in its preparation accept any responsibility or liability for anything done in reliance on it. For fuller information as to the status and effect of this document, please refer to the professional practice and ethics section of the Bar Council's website here.