Civil legal aid accounts: applying for an exceptional case application in accounts chargeable under schedule 2A or schedule 6

We have developed a list of key criteria where you may apply to us for exceptional case status. If granted, this will allow you in either block fee defended proceedings (Schedule 6, Chapter II of the Civil Legal Aid (Scotland) (Fees) Regulations 1989) or schedule 2A simple procedure cases to charge the account under Schedule 5 (detailed fees).

It is important to note that an application in any case which is chargeable under schedule 2A can only be made where payment in accordance this would not provide reasonable remuneration for the work actually, necessarily and reasonably done because the case involved:

  • Unusual court procedure for which a fee is not otherwise prescribed or
  • A significantly greater volume of work than is usual for a case of that type

The other factors as specified in paragraphs 1(3)(a)-(c) of schedule 7 of the Civil Legal Aid (Scotland) (Fees) Regulations 1989 do not apply in a case chargeable under schedule 2A.

Exceptional case criteria Verification required in support of application
The other party, or as the case may be at least one of the parties, was a party litigant Confirmatory letter from solicitor or, where appropriate, sheriff clerk.
There were concurrent proceedings before a children’s hearing Copy grounds of referral
The solicitor involved had to apply for a transfer of agency after the fixing of a diet of proof, debate or any other hearing fixed for the purposes of settlement Letter from incoming solicitor confirming stage of proceedings at time of transfer;

File review, where appropriate and requested by the Board.

Payment in accordance with Schedule 2A or 6 would not provide reasonable remuneration for the work actually, necessarily and reasonably done because the case involved: Copy initial writ, defences or open/closed record where appropriate
(i)            unusual court procedure for which a fee is not otherwise prescribed; or File review, where appropriate and requested by the Board.
(ii)           a significantly greater volume of work than is usual for a case of that type Where a claim is being made under (d)(ii) the solicitor must provide details of the work undertaken
General rules:
  • An application must be made in writing and should be marked for the attention of the Accounts Specialists.
  • You can apply no later than four months after the conclusion of proceedings.
  • Where appropriate, you should include a copy of the writ (or original court application) or defences or a copy of the closed record.
  • If we refuse the application initially, you can apply to us to review the decision.
  • Where we grant exceptional case status, you must charge your account under detailed fees.
  • If you send us such a detailed account, you cannot subsequently withdraw it and substitute a block fee account.
  • Where we make an interim payment (under the block fee provisions) you can still submit a detailed account at the conclusion of proceedings where the case qualifies for exceptional case status. We would deduct at source the interim payment.
  • You have to keep proper records of work carried out and outlays incurred.
  • In cases where exceptional case status has been granted, you cannot also apply for an additional fee.
  • You should be aware that where exceptional case is approved, this does not dis-apply or automatically increase the case cost limit [section 14(1F) of the Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1986]. You should, therefore, be mindful of your responsibility to ensure that the cost limit in place is sufficient to meet the cost of the accounting.
  • Where there has been a transfer of representation, the granting of Exceptional Case Status to you does not automatically apply to the other.

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