ABWOR payments for hearings before tribunals

Only a solicitor can conduct a hearing.  No advocacy fee is prescribed for an unqualified person.

A number of issues arise in connection with the representation of a client before a tribunal or other hearing.

Entitlement to minimum advocacy fee

You are entitled to a minimum of a half hour when conducting a hearing before a tribunal.  This includes waiting time because of the terms of paragraph 1(b)1 of Part 1, Schedule 3, which allows for further quarter hour blocks for waiting, “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 only be entitled to be paid for each quarter hour as this is ‘subsequent to the first half hour spent in so conducting a trial or other hearing’.

Paragraph 1(b)2 deals with all time expended other than advocacy and so includes meeting the client, waiting, travel etc.  The way this works, in practice, is dealt with in paragraph 9.9.

 

How to calculate the total fee (conjoining travel and waiting with advocacy)

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
  ·         waiting 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 £27.40.  The remaining 1 hour 15 minutes (as rounded up) is then calculated at the rate of £10.55 per quarter hour, which gives a total figure of £27.40 plus 5 x £10.55 = £80.15.

Payment for multiple cases with gaps in waiting time

Waiting time must be allocated to the next case that calls.  Where a gap appears in the time spent set out in the account without an explanation , we will abate 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,.

·         waiting 10.00 to 10.10 am
   
  [GAP of 10 minutes]
·         waiting 10.20 to 10.35 am
·         conduct 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.

 

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