Section 70: Further provision in relation to the Fund: advice and assistance
186.Section 12(3) of the 1986 Act sets out the order by which the various sources of payments in relation to fees or outlays are to be applied. It provides that the costs of proceedings should be met from client contributions, awards of expenses or property recovered or preserved, in such order, before a claim may be made from the Legal Aid Fund. In some cases more than sufficient property may be recovered on behalf of the assisted person to meet the entire costs of the legal fees and outlays. Where this is the case the excess is paid to the assisted person. Section 70 of this Act inserts a new subsection (2)(ba) into section 4 of the 1986 Act and inserts a new section 12C which applies where advice and assistance has been provided either through the Board’s grant funding power or through a solicitor employed by the Board and where payments have been made into the Legal Aid Fund in respect of client contributions, awards of expenses or property recovered. In such cases the costs of proceedings will have been met through the overall costs of employing the solicitor or the award of grant to fund the advice provision, although the costs of individual proceedings could be calculated. The new sections 4(2)(ba) and 12C enable the Board to repay to the assisted party any sums which would have been due to them through the operation of section 12(3) had the advice and assistance been provided through a private sector solicitor funded on a case by case basis.