May 22nd, 2014
LAA Survey on CFAs
HLPA’s Legal Aid Working Group has been working with the LAA to clarify what kinds of cases will and will not be suitable for a CFA. The LAA has a very confused idea, and appears to think that any case in which there is a theoretical possibility of inter parte costs is suitable for a CFA. This is casuing problems for people in obtaining funding in, for example, homeless judicial reviews and s.204 appeals. It is important that the LAA is aware of the limited range of matters for which a CFA is suitable and the very limited availability of ATE insurance.
The LAA has set up a survey to help clarify the issue, which can be found at:
Please could you complete the survey by 1st May 2014. The more responses the better.
May 18th, 2014
HLPA members should be aware that the password for the members’ area of the site, which contains the speakers’ papers, precedents and more, will be changing on 28 May 2014. Members who have signed up for 2014 will receive the new password shortly. A reminder and form for joining for 2014 is here.
May 11th, 2013
Sara Stephens and the legal aid working group have prepared a guide for HLPA members on legal aid for housing matters from 1 April 2013, covering scope, guidance and procedure.
The Guide can be found on the new ‘guides’ page in the members area.
April 9th, 2013
The password for HLPA members to access the members area of the website will be changing on 20 April 2013.
The new password will be emailed to all 2013 members very shortly. Please ensure that the HLPA administrator has email addresses for all people in your organisation included in your membership.
September 22nd, 2012
After a long and sustained effort by HLPA, Shelter, ASA and LAPG, the MoJ has now concluded its review into appropriate hourly rates to pay to surveyors in disrepair cases. As you know, the current rate is £50 per hour.
A review of available data, including data supplied by HLPA, showed that the average hourly rate in London is £125 per hour and out of London is £95 per hour. As all experts’ rates (alongside solicitor and counsel’s rates) were to be codified and reduced by 10%, the new guideline hourly rates for surveyors in housing disrepair cases are:
Outside London – up to £85 per hour
In London – up to £115 per hour
The MoJ have advised that it is unlikely that these rates will be codified in a statutory order before April 2013. Therefore, we will need to make applications for prior authority to instruct surveyor’s at these rates.
The MoJ/LSC are going to issue guidance to caseworkers at the LSC so that they are aware of these new guideline rates. They aim to issue this guidance by 1st October 2012.
The MoJ/LSC are also going to advise us as to how best to make the applications for prior authority and whether this can be included as a standard paragraph in APP1s. Again, they should provide this advice by 1st October.
If you wish to instruct someone for more than these hourly rates you will need to justify this in an application for prior authority as before.
We will update members when the guidance or any further information becomes available.
July 8th, 2012
The DCLG has published the new Allocations Code of Guidance for Local Authorities.
The Code of Guidance can be found here [pdf]
June 1st, 2012
The member password for the site has been updated. The new password was circulated to members signed up for 2012 by email on 21 May 2012.
If you have not received the email and are registered for 2012, please contact Chandra_Rao@shelter.org.uk
April 19th, 2012
The 2012 Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year nominations are open.
In this difficult time for legal aid, what better than to celebrate the passion and commitment of those working in legal aid practice? Do you know someone or a practice whose work should be recognised in the LALYs? Then nominate them!
The nomination form is here and more details are here.
The closing date is 27 April 2012
March 4th, 2012
The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill enters report stage in the House of Lords from 5 March. Any further amendments to the bill in the Lords must happen at this stage. It is likely that the social welfare provisions, including housing, will be debated from Monday 5 March onwards.
There is one single housing related amendment tabled, although there are others addressing social welfare more broadly. The amendment is at 75-77 of the marshalled list of amendments. The proposed amendment was drafted by Shelter and supported by HLPA, as well as Citizens Advice, Justice for All, the Law Society, the Law Centres Federation, Young Legal Aid Lawyers, the Legal Aid Practitioners Group, the Housing Law Practitioners Association, the Bar Council, the Advice Services Alliance and the Salvation Army.
As drafted, LASPO would mean that benefits work would be out of scope even when involved in defending possession proceedings, thus making a successful resolution of many rent arrears or mortgage possession cases virtually impossible.
This amendment would ensure that, where the loss of the home is threatened due to nonpayment of the rent or mortgage, advice and casework can be provided to address an underlying benefits problem causing or contributing to the arrears.
The full proposed amendment and briefing can be downloaded here.
If you are signed up to the Justice for All “pair up with a peer” scheme please write to them now to ask them to support the HB (and other) amendments. If you’re not with the scheme please contact Lib Dem or cross bench peers to explain why this amendment is so important- you can find out a list of the peers and their parties via this link (select search options as party and group – then search for
lib dem or crossbenchers):
Please send the Shelter briefing document with any communication with peers.