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Legal Advice and Assistance

Volume 504: debated on Wednesday 27 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answer of 7 January 2010, Official Report, column 546W, on legal advice and assistance, whether seasonal fluctuations in workload of new matter start allocations for providers of the Advice and Assistance Scheme (Legal Help) were taken into account when deciding upon the period 9 April to August 2009 to assess the annual run-rate. (312922)

Seasonal fluctuations were not taken into account when calculating the annual run-rate of firms, which predict the number of matter starts that might potentially be required by each provider to year end. However, any provider who had their allocation of matter starts reduced following the review can request a review by the Legal Services Commission and present evidence in support of a request to reinstate matter starts, including data regarding seasonal fluctuations. Seasonal fluctuations vary greatly from firm to firm and among categories of law and therefore it is not possible to apply a standard formula to take these into account.