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The Legal Aid Agency (LAA) has published updated guidance on remuneration for expert witnesses.
The guidance consolidates a number of separate guidance documents previously published by the LAA into one single reference document and has been published to coincide with the new maximum expert rates introduced by the Civil Legal Aid (Remuneration) Regulations 2013 and the Criminal Legal Aid (Remuneration) Regulations 2013.
lists maximum rates for particular expert types introduced from 1 April 2013 by the Remuneration Regulations;
clarifies when providers should apply for prior authority, including benchmarks of ‘unusual' hours below which prior authority should not be sought; and
outlines specific arrangements for certain types of expert, including risk assessment experts, drug and alcohol testing and DNA testing.
Maximum rates for experts have been in place since October 2011, but the 2013 Remuneration Regulations introduce changes to some of the rates, including:
removing the London/non-London rate differentials for many of the expert types; and
introducing a new higher rate for surveyors working in housing disrepair matters.