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Legal Services Payments Orders and Legal Aid Exceptional Funding

Date:8 OCT 2014
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Peter Morris Partner Irwin Mitchell Leeds
Sue Parkinson Trainee Irwin Mitchell Leeds

Sections 49-51 of the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 resulted in new rules governing maintenance pending suit for legal costs in divorce (including proceedings for financial relief in connection with divorce) nullity or judicial separation proceedings being introduced into the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 (MCA 1973).

Under the new sections 22ZA and 22ZB of the MCA 1973 the court can make a legal services payment order (LSPO). The amounts are payable either in instalments which may be secured or by way of a lump sum which can be reinforced by an interim order for sale of property. A LSPO may be made for the purposes of advice and assistance in the form of representation and any form of dispute resolution including mediation. The LSPO should normally contain...

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