Advice and assistance and the basic limits of expenditure: which level applies?

Two initial limits of expenditure are provided for standard civil advice and assistance, of £180 and £135 [Section 10 Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1986]. There is a different limit for diagnostic advice and assistance.

Where representation relates to a civil matter which is a distinct matter or to a civil matter which is not distinct but following application made to us is to be treated as if it were so, the sum of £135 applies

Where representation relates to a civil matter not falling within these bounds, the sum of £45 applies.

The £180 limit £180 applies in certain specified situations where either ordinary advice and assistance or ABWOR is given.

The £180 initial limit for ABWOR applies when a second or subsequent diet has been ordered by the court.

The £180 initial limit for ordinary advice and assistance applies where:

  • You are satisfied the matter is likely to be resolved only by preparing for proceedings in a civil court for which legal aid is available
  • It is likely your client will qualify on financial grounds for civil legal aid
  • It is reasonable in the circumstances of the case.

Apart from the cases in which specific provision is made for an initial limit of £180 (as above), the initial limit of expenditure is £135.

There is no regulatory requirement to notify us where you consider the £180 initial limit applies in the circumstances of a particular case. You must, however, give us this information where, for example, you are asking for an increase in expenditure, or submitting an account for more than £135.

You can no longer select the £180 initial limit when you submit the application online. Instead, when you submit your account online you can select the £180 initial limit, this will be effective from the date you granted the application.

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