A telephone call is chargeable depending on its duration.
The rates are prescribed at:
- Paragraph 5(e) of Schedule 5 of the Civil Legal Aid (Scotland) (Fees) Regulations 1989 or paragraph 4(v) of Schedule 3 of the Civil Legal Aid (Scotland) (Fees) Regulations 1989, for a short call up to four minutes.
- Paragraph 4(f) of Schedule 5 or paragraph 3(iv) of Schedule 3, for a lengthy call over 4 and up to 10 minutes.
- Paragraph 2(a) or 2(b) of Schedule 5 or paragraph 2(i) or 2(ii) of Schedule 3 for calls exceeding 10 minutes.
The references to the ABWOR Table of Fees are in connection with automatic legal aid.
All charges should be supported with a narrative detailing the following:
- The date on which the work is carried out.
- Clear reference to who the call was with and its purpose.
- Length of the call.
- The name and status (qualified or unqualified) of the individual carrying out the work.
- Any other factors which may contribute to the time spent.
Charges based on for example five or six minute units cannot be allowed. Where it appears that this method of charging has been used we will only allow a charge at the lowest rate.
No charge can be allowed for a telephone call where:
- There is no reply.
- A message is left on an answering machine or with someone other than the intended recipient of the call where no substantive discussion takes place i.e. requesting your client returns your call.
We can provide an exception where substantive information or advice which advances the case is provided in the voicemail or in the message left with the person who answered the call.