Law firms could face claims for overpaid legal aid

Law firms could face claims for overpaid legal aid

Following the recent decision in three cases brought by the Legal Services Commission (LSC) for the recovery of over payments, it looks as if more legal aid solicitors will find themselves on the receiving end of an application for recovery.

The three cases – LSC v Loomba, LSC v Ulasi, and LSC v Simon Carter & Ors [2012] EWHC 29 (QB) – which saw the LSC recovering approximately £250,000 in over payments – are likely to herald a series of further recovery attempts by the LSC. About 35 cases potentially involving up to £30m of over payments and which have been stayed pending the outcome of these test cases could now be pursued.

The LSC are reported as being “very pleased that the court has found in our favour, as this is an important principle which affects the legal aid fund.”

Given the fragile financial position of many legal aid solicitors firms, the actions by the LSC could easily push many into closure, further fueling the gloomy closure predictions for the coming year.

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