Legal Aid CCMS Billing: Consolidated or separate proceedings?
On a recent case the client had two separate sets of proceedings which whilst not explicitly consolidated were heard together and all work undertaken was relevant to both matters. The client had two public funding certificates and on strict interpretation would have to be dealt with as two separate bills requiring two sets of costs of assessment to be incurred. The LAA confirmed that the client’s two funding certificates could be linked and a single bill be prepared covering both sets of proceedings, but to do so would require one of the certificates to be the lead certificate and the other to be reduced to a nil certificate on CCMS, and a nil bill prepared. Unfortunately, on this case the two certificates had been discharged and there was no ability to increase the costs limitation on the lead certificate to cover all work undertaken on the two sets of proceedings, and thus separate bills did in fact have to be prepared.