Other formal work

Lodging

The lodging of a document is chargeable at the formal rate prescribed under paragraph 5(f) of Schedule 5 or 4(i) of Part 1, Schedule 3, unless it is the first step in the process where paragraph 4(g) applies.  Although there is no fee prescribed for lodging the first step in the process under Part 1, Schedule 3 (automatic legal aid) we would consider a non-formal charge in line with the fees under paragraph 3.

Lodging fee exemption form

No fee is chargeable separately for lodging the fee exemption form as this is deemed to be subsumed within the fee for “framing” the motion for which the exemption form is required.

Intimating

The intimation of a document is chargeable at the formal rate prescribed under paragraph 5(f) of Schedule 5 or 4(ii) of Part 1, Schedule 3.  In the event that you are acting in a case with multiple parties where it is necessary for each motion / appeal to be intimated individually, a separate charge will be allowed.

Signing / certifying

The signing of a document is chargeable at the formal rate prescribed under paragraph 5(d) of Schedule 5.  This charge does not apply to letters for which a signing charge is subsumed within the framing charge.

Photocopying

In-house copying

From 31 October 2013, the fee for photocopying within a solicitors firm can be found within the Legal Aid and Advice and Assistance (Photocopying Fees and Welfare Reform) (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Scotland) Regulations 2013.

Our copying service

We continue to offer a free photocopying service but only for cases where the copying exceeds 10,000 sheets. Any requests which do not meet the threshold limit will be returned.

You can find out about this service in the Photocopying section of or website.

External copying firms

An external copying firm can be used if all other options are unavailable, for which the agent incurs an outlay. We will allow payment based on the prescribed fee, or of the outlay, whichever is most economical.

We will not meet the costs of associated stationary which we would not expect to see billed when the copying is undertaken within your firm.

Unqualified staff

Time spent by an unqualified assistant, including a trainee, in carrying out work other than that prescribed in paragraphs 3 to 6 of Schedule 5 or 3 to 5 of Part 1, Schedule 3, will attract fees at the unqualified rate.

Payment for administrative work

Fee earners are those members of staff in the solicitor’s office who perform legal work directly attributable and chargeable to a specific client.

In assessing your account, we will consider:

  • The nature of the work undertaken.
  • If it is chargeable.
  • If it has reasonably been undertaken by a fee earner.

If the work could have reasonably been allocated to an unqualified member of staff, the charge in the account should be at the unqualified rates.

Types of administrative work that is not chargeable work:

  • A telephone call to directory enquiries.
  • Taking messages to the effect that you are not available.
  • Passing on messages.
  • Receiving documents being handed in at your office.
  • Establishing costs as regards hotel/travel/car hire on your behalf or making travel arrangements.

Such tasks are within the remit of administrative staff and it would not be appropriate for you to carry out such tasks or delegate these to another fee earner.

Contacting us for advice

You are presumed to be aware of the legal aid regulations, and we do not expect to be billed for such queries.

The exception would be telephoning us if we have made an error that would attract the appropriate charge where you have had to investigate the error and ensure that it is amended.  Any negotiations or correspondence at the accounts stage cannot be paid.

Payment for work in relation to contact not covered by the grant of legal aid

There can often be ongoing panel hearings which do not directly relate to the distinct proceedings for which legal aid is available.  For example, there could be a children’s legal aid grant for a grounds of referral proof concerning allegations of the commission of an offence by a child.  If there is work carried out in relation to a forthcoming children’s panel hearing concerning contact, this work cannot be charged for under the children’s legal aid certificate.

However, where the grounds of referral concern contact issues, reasonable charges will be considered.

Observing contact

This is not legal representation and no fee will be considered unless it can be shown that some legal representation was provided.

Framing report by curator ad litem

We cannot consider payment of the framing of a report ordered from the curator ad litem, as the office of a curator ad litem appointed by the sheriff is distinct from the office of a solicitor (reference is made to Nugent –v- Nugent Glasgow Sheriff Court 1998 unreported and Henderson –v- Henderson 1994 SCLR 533).

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