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The contract is poorly drafted but essentially you need to do 12 court attendances and 12 police station each year. On top of that you need to do an additional 12 attendances which can be a mix of police and or court attendances. The court attendances can be at the magistrates or crown court. Thats a total of 36 attendances each year.

But you also need to do 14 hours of relevant work. On top of that you need to do four police station duties each year. Bizarrely there is also a requirement that you do three police stations and three court attendances in each rolling month. To be clear that means for example in March the LAA will look back to see if there were 3 police & 3 court attendances over the preceding 3 months and then in April they look to see if there were 3 police & 3 courts in the proceeding 3 months and then in May we look back to see if there were 3 police & 3 courts in the proceeding three months, etc etc..

Here is the contract itself:

6.22 Your entitlement to deploy Duty Solicitors to undertake Duty Solicitor work and retain Duty Slots issued to you in their name under this Contract is dependent on them each:

a. undertaking at least two hours CPD annually on issues relevant to the law, practice and procedure in the Police Station or magistrates’ courts;

b. undertaking a minimum of 36 court hearings and Police Station attendances in each rolling 12 month period to include:

(i) a minimum of 12 magistrates’ court hearings;

(ii) a minimum of 12 Police Station attendances (excluding telephone advice); and

(iii) a further 12 hearings or attendances which may be made up of any combination of:

i. Crown Court hearings;

ii. magistrates’ court hearings;

iii. Police Station attendances; or

iv. magistrates’ court Duty Slots including the representation of at least one client

with at least three magistrates’ court or Crown Court hearings and at least three Police Station attendances in each rolling three month period; and

c. continuing to undertake Duty Solicitor work generally by, in each rolling 12 months period, undertaking Police Station Duty Solicitor attendances (excluding telephone advice) on no less than four Duty Slots allocated by us in that Duty Solicitor’s name.

6.23 Subject to Paragraph 6.24, all Duty Solicitors you use to obtain Duty Slots must undertake a minimum of 14 hours’ Contract Work for you per week from the Office for which those Duty Slots have been obtained.

6.24 The 14 hours’ requirement in Paragraph 6.23 will be measured on a rolling monthly basis to accommodate different working patterns.

But the LAA are also saying they will be flexible and reasonable. I would take it with a pinch of salt as they also claim to have kicked out about 18% of the Duty Solicitors.

1.6 Whilst the Specification places Providers under specific notification obligations in respect of the Duty Solicitor requirements, the LAA also expects Providers to approach notification in an open and honest way, reflective of the aim of working in good faith and partnership with the LAA in delivering a public service. A proactive approach by Providers to notification in cases where, for example, there may be genuine difficulties for an individual Duty Solicitor in meeting the Engaged requirements, provides the LAA with a greater opportunity (and the information needed) to consider how the contract should be applied.

1.7 Having regard to this approach, the performance of 14 hours’ Criminal Defence Work should not be the only consideration, but a gateway to look at the factual position in any individual case, with each case to be judged on its own merits. The LAA has a responsibility to act reasonably and proportionately, taking into account all aspects of the contract and the individual circumstances, applying measures only where necessary and proportionate to the situation.

1.8 The LAA expects Providers to fully comply with the Contract provisions; however, it recognises that there may be some circumstances which result in a Duty Solicitor/s being unable to meet the Engaged requirements, and where the LAA should exercise its discretion not to take remedial action (including the application of Sanctions) in respect of the failure to comply with the requirements, for example, if there is insufficient Duty Solicitor work in a particular area for a particular period that prevents Duty Solicitors in that Scheme from complying with the Duty Solicitor requirements (this would exclude situations where a Provider has a significant number of Duty Solicitors compared to other Providers on that Scheme and their Duty Solicitors cannot meet the requirements). Paragraphs 6.25 (a) and (b) also provide an exemption for Duty Solicitors in cases of maternity, paternity or sick leave (discussed further below). Any remedial action which the LAA takes (including the imposition of Sanctions) will always be considered in the specific circumstances and against the LAA’s duty to act reasonably and proportionately.

There is a form here which should help:

duty_solicitor_requirements.txt · Last modified: 2019/05/30 11:07 by frescom