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Legal Services Commission

Justice written question – answered on 10th February 2010.

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Photo of Adrian Sanders Adrian Sanders Opposition Deputy Chief Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice who the chairman and vice chairman is of each of the Legal Services Commission's Regional Review Panels; and on what date each was appointed.

Photo of Bridget Prentice Bridget Prentice Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Ministry of Justice

The review panel arrangements were put in place in 2000 but since October 2006, the LSC has moved away from the old regional panel structure for the majority of funding/costs appeals which are now dealt with by single independent funding/costs adjudicators. There are therefore no chair or vice-chair representing these adjudicators. The appointment of individual adjudicators is made in accordance with the criteria and guidance on the LSC Review Panel Arrangements 2000 (as amended), which is available on the LSC website.

A panel can sit where the complexity or profile of a case justifies this; however, such panels have been required on fewer than 10 occasions under the post-2006 arrangements. All other appeals (either against refusal of funding or assessment of costs) have been heard by single adjudicators.

The Special Cases Unit (SCU) has its own panel and they work as single adjudicators or in committees of between three and five when required depending upon the complexity or value of the cases. The Chair of the SCU Panel is Andrew Watson, a solicitor in private practice. He was appointed in July 2008. The Vice Chair of the SCU Panel is Simon Sinnatt, a barrister in private practice. He was appointed in July 2008.

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