I work for a small firm, two fee earners albeit only I do public funded work in immigration. This firm started in May 2008 and the LSC exceptionally approved it doing public funded work even though there was no live bid in Immigration at that time on the basis that the same two fee earners were being made redundant by a firm with an immigration contract.
Our firm applied for a new contract and lost out by two points simply because a genuine error was made in entering 'no' rather than 'yes' against the question as to whether we were committed to offering an advertised drop-in service session every week. We went through the 'appeal process' and certainly agree with the assessment that it is a sham.
The LSC refused the appeal on the basis that we were trying to 'amend' our original application and this was not permissable. Upon reading the postings on this website it has become apparent that the LSC itself is entertaining applications from successful firms certainly in relation to amending the NMS awarded to them.
I feel extremely irked especially because in April/May 2010 our firm went through an independant peer review achieving a rating of 'competance plus 2' and the relevant peer review co-ordinator also recorded in her findings that our 'work was found to demonstrate a high degree of competance'.
Do people think that we should go down the litigation route or wait for the outcome of the Law Society JR action against the LSC?
My concern is that this JR action relates to the family tender and any benefits may not extend to immigration.
Are there any other immigration firms looking to litigate, perhaps a class action may be the way forward?
You may have a procurement law point - the case of Tideland Signal Ltd v Commission of European Communities, European Case Reports case T-211/02 may assist. Arguably once you told them you had made a clerical error they should have come back to you for more information. I wouldn't wait in hope that the Law Society might sort it out. Good luck in finding other immigration firms to join with you. I know how daunting it can be to contemplate going it alone.