Only you can conduct a hearing [Section 6 of the Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1986].
A number of issues arise in connection with the representation of client before a tribunal or other hearing.
You are entitled to a minimum of a half hour when conducting a hearing before a tribunal. This includes waiting time, paragraph 1(b)1 of Part I of Schedule 3 of the Advice and Assistance (Scotland) Regulations 1996, which allows for further quarter hour blocks for waiting. This is provided that any time is additional to the total time charged for under paragraph 1. These fees cannot be treated separately. If the case is continued until later on in the day, you will be entitled to be paid for each quarter hour where the first half hour spent conducting a hearing has been expended.
You are paid for the total time involved in connection with an appearance in the case. You cannot round up each separate element to the nearest quarter hour. For example:
|· Travel to tribunal
|9.20 to 9.45 am
|· Meeting client
|9.45 to 10.00 am
|10.00 to 10.10 am
|· Tribunal appearance
|10.10 to 10.30 am
|· Travel to office
|10.30 to 10.55 am
Total time involved 1 hr 35 minutes, rounded up to 1 hour 45 minutes.
The advocacy element must be looked at first, as the Table of Fees allows a minimum of a half hour. In this example, the total time involved was 1 hour 35 minutes, rounded up to 1 hour 45 minutes. The first half hour (the advocacy time) is chargeable at the minimum advocacy fee detailed in Part I of Schedule 3 of the Advice and Assistance (Scotland) Regulations 1996. The remaining 1 hour 15 minutes (as rounded up) is then calculated on the basis of each quarter hour.
Waiting time must be allocated to the next case that calls. Where a gap appears in the time spent without an explanation, we will query any waiting time and ask you to explain the gap. There may well be a reason for a gap but if another case called during that period then the waiting time prior to the gap should have been included in the account for that case whether legally assisted, privately funded or pro bono For example: .
|10.00 to 10.10 am
|[GAP of 10 minutes]
|10.20 to 10.35 am
|10.35 to 11.15 am
The charge for waiting from 10.00 to 10.10 am on the information provided is not chargeable to this account.