Our Civil Legal Aid Quality Assurance Sub-Committee would like to remind all firms to keep a fully completed and signed legal aid mandate on their legal aid client files. The legal aid mandate must be completed and signed by both the applicant and solicitor and held on the client’s file.
In terms of quality assurance, a file will fail review for the following reasons concerning mandates:
- The mandate is present but not signed and dated by the client and by the solicitor
- The mandate is present and is signed and dated by the client and solicitor however is blank otherwise
There are some cases where the peer reviewer will use their discretion when marking a file and will fail the criterion and not the file overall:
- The mandate is present and is signed by both client and solicitor, however is incomplete
- There is no mandate present on the file
The Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB) issued mandates guidance to all providers on 3 March 2016 and so files opened after this date will be marked accordingly by peer reviewers. Files that pre date this will still receive negative comments, but will not fail on this criteria.
If you have any queries about the use of mandates and the quality assurance process, please contact Hannah Sayers, Quality Assurance Administrator, at HannahSayers@lawscot.org.uk.