A&A accounts and increases in authorised expenditure: what is chargeable and on what basis?

With the exception of ABWOR for a sequestration, all work done is chargeable on a detailed fee basis, no block fees are prescribed.

You must take care that all work done is within the limit of expenditure in place at the time the work is carried out.

You should only undertake work envisaged and covered by an increase and should not use any expenditure for any other purpose.

A letter or telephone call in connection with requesting an increase is not chargeable.

We will allow a formal charge for submitting a template increase; and a non-formal framing charge per 250 words a sheet for a bespoke increase request.

Prior approval for increases: abatement of work done before grant is effective

Any work undertaken before a grant is made or an increase has been granted is not payable [Regulation 12(1) & (2) of the Advice and Assistance (Scotland) Regulations 1996].

Work undertaken beyond limit of authorised expenditure: restriction of accounts

Where the work done exceeds the limit of authorised expenditure, we will restrict the account to the level of authorised expenditure applicable at the time the work was carried out.

For example, where work done already totals £330 when you get an increase in authorised expenditure from £300 to £500, the fees and outlays (including VAT on the outlays) up to that point will be restricted to the £300 authorised expenditure.

In this event, we will:

  • Allow any outlay (including VAT) in full, if possible.
  • Abate the fee.

Where work has been done before the increase is granted and no other issues arise in the account, we will pay the account and notify you of the sum abated.

Before contacting us because you believe there is a shortfall in payment, you should check your file to establish if an increase was in place when the work was done.

A&A accounts and use of increase templates: standard limits of authorised expenditure

Standard limits of authorised expenditure for identifiable stages are available in a whole range of cases.

  • A template increase is not a block fee for the work done, but is an upper limit set on the basis that you will be undertaking the usual work in connection with the particular, identified stages of the proceedings.

You still have to carry out the work and justify it on a detailed basis at the accounts stage.

We will still require to assess the account in line with:

  • The standard of taxation.
  • The regulations.
  • The consequential policy and practice set out in this guidance.

You can only use a template for its intended purpose.  If you are in any doubt as to the appropriateness of a particular template, you should make a normal increase request.

Where you use a template inappropriately we may:

  • Restrict the account to the level of a lower template.
  • Abate work, although itself reasonable, not covered by the template.

In extreme circumstances, where the work done bears little relationship to the work set out in the template, we can abate the work, subject to the initial limit, in its entirety.

Payment for outlays under A&A:

You must get our prior approval before instructing an expert report or counsel. An increase in authorised expenditure, sufficient to cover the cost of the work, including VAT) before you instruct the work.

You should insert the outlay claimed in the account at the point when it was incurred – that is, the date instructed and not the date it is paid.

You cannot ask your client to put you in funds to incur an outlay during any period when you are giving advice and assistance.

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