Family Graduated Fee scheme amendments

20 JUL 2009

An amended Family Graduated Fee (FGF) funding order made on 14 July will come into effect on 4 August 2009, the Legal Services Commission has announced.

The FGF changes were announced in February following a full consultation, and will be applicable to all work carried out under new and existing certificates from 4 August 2009.

The order implements the following changes to the FGF scheme:

  • In public law cases abolish the "more than two parties" Special Issue Payment (SIP);
  • Increase base hearing fees for public law children cases;
  • In private law children cases, reduce the uplift provided by the "conduct" SIP from 50% to 30%;
  • In private law children cases, reduce the uplift provided by the "more than one expert" SIP from 50% to 20%;
  • In ancillary relief cases abolish the "conduct" SIP; the "assets" SIP; the "more than one expert" SIP; and the "analysis of accounts" SIP;
  • In ancillary relief cases, reduce the uplift provided by the "litigant in person" SIP from 25% to 20%;
  • In ancillary relief cases, reduce the uplift provided by the "relevant foreign element" SIP from 25% to 20%.

In addition to the changes detailed above, the LSC are also introducing improved procedures for barristers' claims for Special Preparation Fees (SPF):

  • Barristers claiming SPF should submit a detailed schedule to judges of the hours spent in preparation so that these payments are only made where appropriate.
  • The LSC have also redesigned the SIP Form, to make clearer the basis for claiming each SIP, a verification for court bundle payments, and further clarifications.

These forms, along with a revised CLAIM5 Form, will be available on the LSC website in due course.

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