Only a solicitor, or where appropriate, counsel can provide ABWOR in terms of section 6 of the Act.  ABWOR, in turn, can only be provided where the procedure in question is listed in the ABWOR regulations.  An unqualified person, including a first year trainee, cannot charge for attendance at a hearing or for any preparation in connection with a hearing.

Representation is not restricted to an appearance in court or before a tribunal, as may be imagined.  “Representation”, as defined in section 6 of the Act, means advice and assistance provided to a person by taking on his behalf any step in instituting, conducting or defending any proceedings.

“Representation”, therefore, includes the steps you take in preparing documents such as:

  • a document initiating or opposing proceedings before a court or tribunal in ABWOR proceedings;
  • the initial claim in connection with an employment or asylum and immigration tribunal etc;
  • preparing, framing and lodging documentation such as an inventory of productions, list of witnesses or any written pleadings associated with advancing the proceedings on behalf of an individual;
  • completing forms in simplified divorce proceedings; or
  • an affidavit in relation to judicial proceedings.

As such, none of this work is chargeable under Advice and Assistance. However, you can assist your client to complete the simplified divorce forms.

List of ‘representation’ tasks which are not chargeable under A&A

Other charges which, in our view, relate to representation and are not permissible under advice and assistance include:

  • perusal charges which directly relate to a step in proceedings (i.e. framing or representation);
  • preparation for a hearing or tribunal;
  • travel to and from a hearing or tribunal;
  • meetings which take place immediately before and/or after any hearing or tribunal;
  • watching brief role.

This is not an exhaustive list.

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