Society wants form burden eased

THE LAW Society is this week expected to call for “substantial modifications” to the Legal Aid Board's (LAB) reforms of the green form system.

Measures to help combat fraud were officially backed by Lord Chancellor Lord Mackay last week.

But the society's courts and legal services committee will demand that changes are made to the proposals which it feels are excessively burdensome.

The LAB is recommending there should be more detailed claims forms to be used by non-franchised firms.

It is also proposed that solicitors should have to seek permission from the board before giving advice under more than one green form for a single client.

Russell Wallman, head of professional practice, says the society supports the board's wish to gather better information about claims, but it is likely to come out against the need for authority for more than one green form.

He adds that there is the danger that the excessive burdens placed on non-franchised firms may lead to back-door exclusivity.

The Lord Chancellor says, subject to consultation, the necessary regulations will be laid before Parliament as soon as possible.