Post by Colin Henderson on Sept 9, 2010 8:46:02 GMT
AND you may note that the Linda Lee still believes that the contract extension does NOT apply to SWL contracts, despite the LSC saying all civil contracts, so the confusion continues. What seems certain is that unhappy SWL suppliers are on their own and CANNOT rely on the Law Soc challenging anything for them, as CLP apparently found out.
Post by Patrick Torsney on Sept 9, 2010 9:23:34 GMT
Linda Lee says:
Our action is focused only on the family tender exercise. We believe that the LSC can restrict the short contract extension to family law only.
I think what she is trying to emphasise is that the Society is only concerned with the Family aspect of the tender so the fallout is not her responsibility. Linda would not want the Society getting any flack for the obvious difficulties that the contract extension will cause for suppliers in other categories working under the Unified Contract now that it has been extended simply because the Society took action in respect of Family
I imagine the Law Society tried to convince the LSC that the issues could be isolated to Family and that they LSC could plod on with the other categories. I also imagine that the LSC said that if they were going to suspend Family then the whole lot had to similarly be suspended given the terms of the Contract
I wonder if, or to what extent the Law Society's argument or likelihood of success is weakened by the fact that it only wants to pursue certain issues within the tender, specific (at least in the Society's mind) to one category of law?
It seems clear to me that the Society is still trying to offer a deal to the LSC. However, I wonder whether it's a matter of 'we'll let it go if you give us something in Family and the fact we are not pushing you on SWL means that even if the deal is incongruous with similar issues in SWL and the tender process generally, it really won't matter as no-one will challenge you'?
So with all of the huge uncertainty the contract extension has left us with, it appears everything now hinges on the JR Hearing of the 21st of this month, and Judgment Day on the 24th.
So with that in mind, what do you think is likely to happen? Will the Law Society see this through to a bitter end and succeed in getting a judgment that the tender process is unlawful, with the existing contracts then being extended yet again? Will the LSC be successful in their defence, seeing a huge amount of providers going down the pan just a few weeks after the Hearing has taken place? Or will they cobble together some sort of compromise (which may not be possible if those firms who have joined in on the JR application decide to see it through to a conclusion)? Maybe there are other possibilities...???
Post by Richard Wilkinson on Sept 9, 2010 18:56:03 GMT
@ lscstress yeah the only certain thing right now is the uncertainty - I just cant forsee a scenario right now where it can all get resolved/sorted in time. 38 pending JRs seems staggering to me- there must be a raft of different issues. 1000 appeals, presumably some of which will turn into JR too? Arguably the whole JR thing has been further 'encouraged' by what happened with CLP. Sadly it appears the only way to actually engage in a rational matter with the LSC is via advsererial legal challenges, yet the people at the top accuse the provider community of being adverserial and bombastic. Is it any wonder? And what about the baggage that will be taken away from all this?
Post by Patrick Torsney on Sept 9, 2010 19:23:54 GMT
For general clarity, bear in mind that the Law Society's action is concerned with Family only. At least to the Law Society's mind. It is not concerned with SWL or any other category or other tender exercise. The Commission, on the other hand, will quite possibly say that if there is to be any decision in Family, then it would have to be applicable to SWL as well, given the nature of the tender. Ironic, huh?
As it is, whilst the court does have the power to make directions that could apply across the board, and which would affect other categories of work and other tenders, the Law Society certainly does not appear to be encouraging it to do so, at least so far
Post by StephenMichael on Sept 10, 2010 8:09:57 GMT
The Law Society's claim is as follows
1.A declaration that the LSC has acted unlawfully in the manner in which it has conducted procurement of the 2010 family law contracts; 2.Further or other relief; and 3.Costs.
This sort of worries me because there is no request for an order of Mandamus requiring the LSC to do something. As I see it, if they just get a declaration from the Court that the LSC have acted unlawfully then things will revert to as they were before, ie The Unified Contract terms and conditions will apply. That means, all those forms who lost and issued redundancy notices for their staff will have the same contract as they had before. All the winners will have their new contract offer rebuked and will have to tell their new employess that there are no jobs. So I think that if this is the outcome then the LSC will face further legal action from firms who will have lost a considerable amount of money over this mess.
Post by Richard Wilkinson on Sept 10, 2010 8:27:51 GMT
@ StephenMicheal - Yeah its the proverbial rock and a hard place. Though we need all still be mindful of Patrick's comments about the different perceptions at to what areas of law it refers to. To be honest we am so completely confused by the whole thing that we afinding it impossible to business plan. I guess we are not alone!