Determining the level of grant
The fund is designed to target funding where it is needed, it is not simply a redistribution of funding across all legal aid businesses. Grants take account of the actual impact of the coronavirus pandemic on casework volumes and projected income.
The fund aims to bring firms back up to the income you could reasonably have expected had the pandemic not impacted on levels of new legal aid business.
The level of grant award will also take into consideration other forms of Government coronavirus financial support you received since the start of the pandemic.
A reasonable approximation of the value of lost business will be calculated by the Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB) using historic and current data on new business volumes and average case values. You will receive this information in a decision letter from the Scottish Government following determination of your application.
This letter will inform you:
- the firm’s average pre-COVID legal aid case volume, based on the record over the two years pre COVID for each solicitor confirmed by the applicant firm as providing legal aid as at 24th January
- the firm’s case volumes between 1 April 2020 and 24 January 2021, adjusted pro rata to create a projection of volumes to 31 March 2021
- projected change between the estimated value of the average volume of new business pre-Covid and that for the current financial year
- the resulting gross grant calculated (if any)
- the proportion of the firm’s turnover calculated as derived from legal aid (based on the information provided by the firm and checked by SLAB against payment records)
- the proportion and amount of other COVID support funds to be deducted from the gross grant
- the net grant payable (if any)
The information for unsuccessful applicants will set out the basis on which no grant is payable (based either on the 20% criterion, there being no projected loss of income from new business, or other COVID support exceeding the value of the gross grant calculated). You will be given the opportunity to provide further information if, due to changes in firm composition (i.e. the number or identity of solicitors in the firm providing legal aid), the calculated grant (if any) does not properly reflect the firm’s reduction in new business.