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Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012

Section 25: Charges on property in connection with civil legal services

187.Subsection (1) provides for a statutory charge to arise on any property recovered or preserved by an individual in receipt of civil legal aid, including costs payable to the individual, whether the property or costs are recovered, preserved or payable following legal proceedings or as part of a compromise or settlement of a dispute. Such a charge currently arises under section 10(7) of the Access to Justice Act 1999.

188.Subsection (2) describes the amounts of money to which the statutory charge relates. These are the amounts spent by the Lord Chancellor in securing the provision of the civil legal services and any other amounts payable by the individual by virtue of sections 23 and 24. As under the Access to Justice Act 1999, regulations may make provision about the statutory charge. Such regulations can provide for circumstances in which the charge does not apply, provide for the charge to be in favour of the Lord Chancellor or the service provider, modify the charge for the purposes of its application in prescribed cases or circumstances, and provide for the enforcement of the charge (subsections (3) and (4)).

189.Subsection (5) permits regulations made for the purpose of enforcing the statutory charge to require amounts of money awarded or payable to the legally-aided individual to be paid to the Lord Chancellor or the service provider and to make provision about matters such as the timing and manner of payment, about how such monies are to be dealt with and about the enforcement of the requirement to pay.

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