This version adds several options relating to fee earners in column bills in order to make it easier to comply with the recent Judgment in AKC -v- Barking: such as grouping work by fee earner and including a table or schedule of fee earners. There is a new feature to make it easy to redact a file. There are also many improvements to the electronic bill, such as improved descriptions for standard items, options to group standrd items and to treat emails as as letters and percentage limitations. Please see below for full details of all the many features and bug fixes included.
New in 5.6.5
1. Column Bills
a) New option on Bill Settings window, Rates & Narrative page to group work by Fee Earner. When enabled, the fee earner name or initials to be used for attendances and summaries for each of the bill sections can be selected from the appropriate page instead of selecting the Category Description. In addition the option to apply a blank line will apply to fee earners instead of categories.
b) New option on Bill Settings window, Rates & Narrative page to include a list of fee earners at the end of the narrative or a table in a schedule.
c) New option on Bill Settings window, Rates & Narrative page enabled when the option to include a list of fee earners is enabled, to additionally include Category description 2 or 3 with the Fee Earner info.
d) New option on Bill Settings window, Enhancement page to specify which category description is used when Category enhancement is shown as a marker.
e) New export template for the Fee Earner Schedule, which can be exported separately or as part of the main bill.
f) New Option in Bill Settings to justify the narrative when it appears on the Front sheet.
a) New feature accessible from the tools menu. Allows you to create a list of words with optional replacements that can be used to create a clean copy of the file with sensitive data removed. The use of the optional replacement text should make it easy to create alternative names for the example documentation.
3. Electronic Bills
a) Items from the Party Work Standard Lists now export with revised wording based on the Communication Method text and the number of items being exported where (a) the underlying attendances have the standard description given to automatically created routine attendances or (b) the option to group routine items has been selected. In other cases the description is still used.
b) Percentage limitations are now supported in the electronic bill. A warning will be generated if parts are combined with a mix of maximum and percentage limitations or with percentage limitations at different values.
c) New option in Electronic Bill Settings window to “Group Standard Items”. When selected all routine telephone calls or letters for the same combination of Party, Fee Earner & Activity will be grouped together in the E Bill. Useful where individual items have been imported from a time recording system.
d) New Option in Electronic Bill Settings window to “Treat Emails as Letters”. When ticked any Email entries will be exported as Letters.
e) It is no longer possible to export an electronic bill without having at least one part set to export.
f) New set of default certificates called “Court Of Protection (short)” which exclude the inter partes certificates that are included with the standard Court of Protection set.
4. Notice of Commencement
a) The N252 now takes the information on which parts are exporting from the Electronic Bills Settings in addition to the Column Bill Settings. The Electronic Bill Settings take precedence.
5. Export Wizard
a) New Format Bills entry is now called Electronic Bills.
6. Case Details
a) New option for Parties to the Action Type column – protected party. Selecting this will make this party the patient in COP front sheets.
b) New option on the right-click pop up menu to add selected text to the Redaction window.
a) Cut, copy & paste is now allowed in the Part Attendances and Part Disbursement windows when not in multi-select mode.
9. Import Work
a) New local Option to Round Import times to nearest minute. Resolves an issue where times that are fractionally less than a minute are rounded down by Excel.
b) New fields added to Import Mapping:- Attendances: Counsel, Category 2, FE Initials, Lump Sum Amount; Disbursements: Counsel, Percentage, Payee, Invoice No, Date Paid, Other Costs Description
c) New option to import work to a specific part.
d) Maximise button added to mapping window.
e) Additional file type filters added to Open File dialog.
10. Pending Work
a) When moving items from pending work the cursor now changes to a wait symbol and if more than 100 items are being moved a progress bar is shown.
b) New option on the Tools menu to move all work back to Pending Work.
a) New presets for Disbursement type. Will not show for disbursements in LA mode but in other modes will show as additions to the LA versions.
b) Boxes now expand as the window gets wider.
a) New search for items marked Draw Attention
b) Maximise button added to window.
a) New licensing library files (v18.104.22.168) for local and network product keys.
b) New option in Licence Management window to auto-deactivate local activation on close and re-activate on start up.
c) You can now enter the password for online licence for a temporary session without storing it on the computer (for use in clients’ premises where you don’t want to leave it authenticated).
d) Error code for Invalid Product key changed to 2 to avoid confusion with other similar errors.
a) New Certificate for Payments on Account where the detail wanted is a single figure.
15. Legal Aid Claims
a) Options to Escape Fixed Fee for Special reasons, Omit Fixed Fee and Omit Fixed Fee Attributes moved to a new Advanced window.
b) New option on the Legal Aid Claim Settings Advanced window to claim a Fixed Fee for Pre Contract HCC costs.
c) CCMS supporting documentation now shows distance and reasons for exceptional travel.
d) It is now possible to specify a part as not exporting to a CCMS claim. When exporting a CCMS Claim without also exporting a CLAIM1/A a cut down version of the CLAIM1/A Part Assignment page is shown in the Export wizard where you can specify a part as not exporting. The options to export to a specific part are not present as there are no parts in a CCMS XML file.
e) CCMS supporting documentation now has the items numbered for easier referencing.
16. Local Settings
a) New field in the Personal page for Draftsman’s Status. Defaults to “Costs Draftsman”. Used by the Electronic Bill for LTM Status.
17. Exported Documents
a) Any files with a comma in the filename now have the comma removed from any exported document as this can give problems with Excel.
a) Rates for an excluded part now have a grey cross shown in the properties column.
a) Merge Parts Wizard now defaults to “Maintain a distinction only where assigned rates change” and the text to explain each option has been expanded to better explain the consequences of each.
a) User Guide and Help File updated
b) Licensing User Guide updated.
a) Warning message displayed at shutdown when the version of CostsMaster is more than a year old and the program is not checking for updates.
b) Change to internal data structures regarding rate types including change of method for accessing Enhancement at various locations with a view to substantially reducing the memory footprint of a file and thus making it easier for large files to export.
a) Start & End Date boxes had too small font in Edit Parts Window.
b) Merging parts where the part remaining used rates from a different part and the parts being merged used different rates resulted in some work being assigned to a wrong category with a drop in value.
c) Editing the limitation for more than one part that has differing limitation values for the “type” and “applies to” fields results in those fields not being correctly initialised when the window appears.
d) Edit Parts Window showed Budget properties when showing only COP or Criminal features.
e) Part Export Options window did not show the Breakdown controls when showing COP or Criminal features.
2. Procedural Steps
a) Moving an attendance from one procedural step to another did not delete the original attendance.
b) Moving a procedural step attendance to another procedural step resulted in a copy rather than a move.
3. Pending Work
a) Proposed boxes not reloading when changing the view mode.
b) In Edit Pending Attendances in COP mode IP Panel was not restored after changing tab from Split -> Full Details
c) Occasional integer overflow error when splitting pending disbursements by percentage.
d) Negative time pending attendances could not be cut, copied and pasted within the pending work window.
4. Legal Aid Claims
a) CCMS Supporting Documentation showing the answer to the questions “Would you like to bill for CPGFS” and “Would you like to bill for PFLRS” as “Yes” when the option to Omit fixed fee has been selected.
b) CCMS PrescHR and CareHR claims where work is in both lower and Higher Courts did not include the GB_MANUAL_COURT_TYPE attribute.
c) Drop down boxes in the grid on the Assessed Costs page of the Legal Aid Claim Settings window no longer include entries for disbursements and expert fees when the box to calculate these automatically is ticked.
d) When the assessed costs grid was disabled due to the claim type not being set to an assessed costs type, it was possible to enable the grid by repeatedly clicking the “Calculate Disbursements Automatically” box.
b) AV when accessing the Narrative pop up menu
6. Main Toolbar
a) Case Details drop down hint not correct.
7. Case Details
a) New Format Bill button renamed to Electronic Bill.
8. Find & Replace
a) Find & Replace all caused the process to hang when the replacement text contained the original text.
9. Phase, Task & Activity
a) JCode activity A102 (Research) was not converted to Newbill A10 (Plan, Prepare, Draft, Review)
b) Activity and Expense drop down lists re-ordered.
c) Activity drop down in the Presets window now shows the relevant codes for the item after the description.
10. Import work
a) AV when importing Parts from CM file that had “UsePartsFrom”= a later part.
b) Import rejected filenames with multiple file extensions.
c) Data was greyed out in unassigned columns when map type was set to “Either”.
d) Changing the party of a split pending attendance to “Unassigned” did not stick.
e) Importing parts form a CostsMaster file where some of the fee earners have the same name but use categories with different names resulted in the categories not being created automatically, so that the user had to manually add the missing rates.
f) Grid updating needlessly when moving items from Pending work.
a) Zero time items not being removed after resolving negative time.
b) Drag and drop between grids did not update grid buttons as a result.
12. Control Centre
a) Buttons not refreshed after a second file was loaded.
a) Assertion Error when exporting an N260.
14. Export Phrases
a) Bill Export Phrases referred to LSC Summary rather than Legal Aid Summary.
b) Title text on the Export Phrases window sometimes obscured behind the adjacent control when editing phrases for an export template.
15. Success Fees
a) When deleting a Success fee, the warning message did not mention the type of data being deleted.
16. Electronic Bills
a) Prec S XLSX Template had slightly different column formula for PhaseName and TaskName to the formula exported (lacked IFERROR wrapper).
b) LTM entries with a Name or ID of “0” get hidden in the spreadsheet and so are now renamed to “_0”.
c) Costs Draftsman fee entries in the LTM table did not take into account the option to export Fee Earner info.
d) Exporting an E-Bill without specifying a template resulted in the Prec S v1 being used rather than v2.
e) Exporting a Prec S v1 caused the certificates page of the XLSX file to contain a mixture of certificates.
a) History added for various Export Settings windows.
18. Case Plans
a) Disbursements for escaped costs did not have an amount in Single Advocate Case Plan
b) Help button on the Edit Events window did not link to the correct help page.
19. Export Wizard
a) Entering the number of a specific part by typing did not always result in the value sticking.
b) The warning about exporting traditional templates to PDF did not appear if the only traditional templates selected were a document schedule or breakdown.
c) Changes to selected Export templates were not saved if the box to export that type of template was unticked when the settings were saved.
19. Exported Documents
a) When exporting a document that cannot be saved because a file with the same name is open, the resulting message suggested clicking “Yes” would give the user the ability to select a different name but the save dialog didn’t appear.
b) Exporting a column bill or breakdown where parts are merged on export and those parts have different rates and one of the parts has no work for a particular category resulted in too many categories being created.
c) Exporting a column bill or breakdown where parts are merged on export and those parts have different rates and the rates of one part are lower than those of the preceding part resulted in too many categories being created.
a) Part VAT window and column in grid gave no indication that VAT was disabled at Bill level.
a) Changing multiple attendances from a fee earner to a Counsel (or vice versa) gave repeated warning messages for each attendance.
23. Column Bills
a) The part limitation text did not display correctly in a phase bill.
a) Other Costs Description labelled as “Type” on the Edit Disbursements window.
a) Backup Settings now only copies contents of Settings and Dictionaries folders.
b) Rare range check error when expanding an abbreviation.