Mrs. H wrote to LAB on 27 May and said that she did not accept the Committee’s decision. She asked again that all papers and files be retained because she was asking the then Member to refer her case to the Ombudsman.
In reply LAB suggested that Mrs. H might wish the Lord Chancellor’s Department to review her case before the Member involved the Ombudsman. In the meantime the Member has made a personal approach to the Minister.
The Minister Seo companies wrote to the Member on 11 August saying that the Costs Appeals Committee papers were being reviewed, and promising a further reply when that was complete. She said that officials had reviewed the papers and a Costs Appeals Committee comprising a different panel had reviewed the decision.
The reviewing Committee had considered whether there was a direct causal link between LAB’s admitted maladministration and the stress claimed by Mrs. H.
It had concluded that there was not it was their view that the contact application would have been a stressful situation in any event. On the matter of costs, the reviewing Committee has judged that Mr. A would.
On the balance of probabilities, have pursued the action with or without legal aid, that he had been partially successful when he did so on a legally aided basis, and that it was unlikely that an order for costs would have been made in those particular proceedings.
The reviewing Committee confirmed the original decision that Mrs. H’s claim was not justified. She said that she was not prepared to accept that decision and asked the Minister to ensure that all relevant files and correspondence were kept.
Responding to Mrs. H’s complaint that Mr. A should not have been granted legal aid in 1997, the Chief Executive said that the area office were satisfied that the case had met the legal merits test and that Mr. A had been correctly assessed as being in scope in terms of financial eligibility.
On receipt of Mrs. H’s merit and financial representations in December 1997 the area office had carried out a reassessment and concluded that Mr. A continued to satisfy the requirements for the award of legal aid.