(Archive) Acting for more than one accused person in the proceedings


The Legal Aid and Advice and Assistance (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Scotland) (No.2) Regulations 2023 came into force on 29 April 2023.
This Guidance item reflects the regulations in force prior to that date.
For the regulations in force from 29 April 2023, please refer to the current Guidance item.

Where you act for more than one assisted person in the proceedings, whether under criminal legal aid or ABWOR or both, we can make a separate fixed payment for each assisted person, but at a reduced level.  This allows you to act for more than one assisted person where you do not consider there to be a conflict of interest, but reflects the level of work common to the co-accused in the process.

If there is a change of solicitor, where a previous solicitor has acted for more than one co-accused, the most common issue is not what the solicitor from whom the case is transferred is entitled to, but what the solicitor to whom the case is transferred can claim.  The solicitor to whom an accused person has been transferred is not acting for a co-accused, and this provision does not apply at all.  The solicitor to whom the case is transferred is entitled, in the usual way, to an equal share, 50% typically, of the fixed payment payable in respect of those proceedings, divided by the number of solicitors representing that accused in the proceedings.

Only the fixed payment is divisible in this way, the solicitor who actually undertook the work being entitled to the chargeable add-ons, see below.

This is one reason why we may not deal with claims until the conclusion of the proceedings and only then in the light of the final position.

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