The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) which pays out compensation to the victims of crime is to continue paying awards directly to solicitors, taking the decision in the face of a possible judicial review challenge.
It was in the autumn of 2010 that the CICA announced that it was ending the practice of paying awards to a representing solicitor in favour of giving it directly to the victim but this led to Levenes, a London firm, gaining permission for a legal review on the subject. The firm argued that many of the victims were foreign, living abroad and were unable to read or write in English and therefore needed proper legal representation to be able to find their way through an often complicated procedure.
The CICA also announced it is to permit solicitors’ fees to be paid out of awards given on behalf of children. The government has said recently that it is to end compensation for minor injuries and it will also ban convicted criminals from making claims, while the victims’ surcharge will be extended.