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Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012

Schedule 4: Transfer of employees and property etc of Legal Services Commission

253.Schedule 4 provides for employees of the LSC to become civil servants and for the transfer of property, assets and liabilities held in the name of the LSC to the Lord Chancellor or to the Secretary of State.

254.LSC employees are currently public sector employees rather than civil servants. Paragraph 1 of Schedule 4 provides that, when the new arrangements for legal aid come into force, LSC employees become civil servants on their existing terms and conditions (save as to pensions and severance). It makes provision to ensure that the transfer does not break the continuity of their employment.

255.Paragraph 4 enables the Lord Chancellor to make a scheme transferring the LSC’s rights and liabilities in respect of occupational pension schemes or compensation schemes to the Lord Chancellor or the Secretary of State.

256.Subparagraph (7) provides that a transfer scheme may apply legislation relating to compensation schemes and occupational schemes with modifications, so far as is necessary for giving effect to the scheme.

257.Subparagraph (8) provides that the transfer scheme may amend or otherwise modify a compensation scheme.

258.When employees of the LSC become civil servants there will be no active members of the (currently two) LSC occupational pension schemes. Paragraph 5 provides the Lord Chancellor with a power to make a scheme to merge the LSC occupational pension schemes. The power includes provision for the winding up of an LSC occupational pension scheme. A merger must not to any extent deprive members of the LSC occupational pension schemes, or other beneficiaries under those schemes, of rights accrued before the merger takes effect.

259.Paragraph 6 transfers interests in land held in the name of the LSC to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government who holds freeholds and leaseholds on behalf of other government departments. Charges on land are specifically excluded from this paragraph because those charges on property in connection with civil proceedings are to transfer to the Lord Chancellor pursuant to paragraph 7.

260.Paragraph 7 transfers other property, rights, powers, duties and liabilities of the LSC to the Lord Chancellor. Therefore, for example, by operation of law, contracts (in the name of the LSC) are novated to the Lord Chancellor, including contracts made for the provision of legal aid services.

261.Paragraph 11 allows the Lord Chancellor to make by statutory instrument, consequential, supplementary, incidental, transitional, transitory or saving provision in connection with the transfers effected by Schedule 4 or schemes made under Schedule 4.

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