ABWOR accounts and the employment of counsel: requirement of prior approval, and charges for unauthorised advocacy

You may apply for an increase in authorised expenditure to cover the cost of counsel, whether for:

  • An opinion
  • A consultation
  • Providing representation

We will look at such requests on their individual merits. You must demonstrate that the case presents such difficulty, complexity, novelty or importance that it justifies the involvement of counsel.

Sanctioned Counsel

If we do authorise the involvement of counsel, you may delegate the attendance at a tribunal to an unqualified member of staff, providing that counsel is in attendance conducting the hearing.

You are only allowed to entrust a case to another solicitor.  If you are unable to conduct a hearing personally, you may only entrust the conduct of the case to another solicitor.  If the case is novel, difficult or complex enough as to justify the involvement of counsel, you should seek our approval and, if necessary, an increase in authorised expenditure for that.

Unsanctioned Counsel

We will question any account entry which indicates that you have instructed counsel without our authority.

Where unsanctioned counsel has been employed we will not pay for any of the costs of counsel, including:

  • Consultations
  • Any of the costs incurred by you or an unqualified person in attending at court or at the tribunal with counsel

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