Basis on which we assess requests for payment of AA fees and outlays: the standard of taxation

The standard of taxation applicable in the assessment of legal assistance accounts is third party paying.  This is quite different from the standard applicable when you carry out work:

  • On an agent and client, client paying basis, where the only test is whether the work is actually done and providing it was done on your client’s instructions
  • On a judicial basis, where the only test is whether the work done is reasonable.

Such sums can only be paid out of the Fund in respect of fees and outlays properly incurred by you or counsel [Section 4(2) (a) of the Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1986].

Fees and outlays allowable upon assessment by us or taxation by the Auditor will only be for work actually necessarily and reasonably done, due regard being had to economy.

You must never ask your client to put you in funds to cover an outlay or fees at a time when advice and assistance/ABWOR is being provided.

Fees payable to counsel, unlike the position in legal aid, are treated as outlays.

The accounts assessment process: what we will do

In our assessment of the account, we will objectively consider whether the work you did was necessary and reasonable.  We must be satisfied that the work carried out was done in the most efficient and cost effective manner, consistent with giving proper advice.


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