New guidance on the duty solicitor contingency arrangement for the current April 2021 duty rotas and on CRM12 applications for the October 2021 duty rotas
The LAA are making this announcement now as the deadline for submission of CRM12s for the October rotas is 12 July 2021, to ensure that providers have as much notice as possible of our intended approach for the October rotas.
The agency recognises it is possible the situation with regards to the COVID-19 outbreak may not go as planned. If this is the case and it looks to affect the October rota period, we will amend the guidance accordingly.
April 2021 Duty Rotas
The duty solicitor contingency arrangement will now finish at the end of the current April duty rotas on 30 September 2021.
Under this scheme, the LAA will not take contractual action where a duty solicitor is unable to comply with the engaged requirements because of the impact of COVID-19.
Providers should inform their contract manager immediately if a duty solicitor gives notice of leaving their employment or ceases to be engaged by them.
Engaged requirements include 14 hours per week criminal defence work and a minimum number of police station and court attendances.
Guidance on the duty solicitor contingency arrangement can be found through our schedule of processes restarting after the COVID-19 contingency.
October 2021 Duty Rotas
New guidance sets out that CRM12 applications to add duty solicitors to the October rotas should only be made where there is a reasonable expectation the engaged requirements for the duty solicitor will be met from 1 October.
This is because the October rotas are not anticipated to cover a period of either COVID-19 lockdown or restrictions. Should that change, the LAA will amend the guidance accordingly.
CRM12s will need to be submitted by 11.59pm on 12 July 2021. The police station and court duty rotas will run for the usual 6 months.
Providers submitting a CRM12 for a new duty solicitor will need to provide a copy of their Criminal Litigation Accreditation Scheme (CLAS) certificate. But the LAA are making exceptional arrangements for new duty solicitors completing their CLAS accreditation in July 2021.
Providers may submit a CRM12 for these duty solicitor candidates for the 12 July 2021 deadline, but will have up to 6 August 2021 to submit the CLAS certificate. These exceptional arrangements will not apply to any future rotas after the October rotas.
Guidance on the process that will be followed for these applications is set out in the additional guidance document on the October 2021 duty rotas. This is published alongside the CRM12 form.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to submit CRM12 applications by 11 January 2021
Duty solicitors: rotas, information and guidance – for the standard guidance on CRM12s for October 2021 rotas