Interim guidelines released for family & civil legal aid

1 August 2013

Interim guidelines for the way lawyers will be paid for Family and Civil (ACC) legal aid cases have been released today by the Legal Services Commissioner.

Legal Services Commissioner Nigel Fyfe said these guidelines have been published following a request from the Secretary of Justice to review current policies in light of the Court of Appeal’s decision on the Criminal Fixed Fees framework.

“Although this judgment made no findings in respect of the Family or Civil (ACC) Fixed Fees frameworks, the reasoning behind the decision led me to review the policies and the way they were established,” he said.

The Family and Civil (ACC) Fixed Fee policies and procedures have been adopted as guidelines. No changes have been made to the content.

“This is to ensure they are established in a manner that is consistent with the Legal Commissioner’s independent functions under the Legal Services Act 2011,” Mr Fyfe said.

In the next few months, the Family and Civil (ACC) Fixed Fees payment frameworks will be reviewed. The review will involve working with providers and provider representative groups and considering areas such as the discretion to vary the amount of legal aid paid for Family and Civil (ACC) fees where necessary.

Family and Civil (ACC) fixed fees were introduced in July 2012.