Civil legal aid accounts: fees chargeable for motions and minutes

The work involved in:

  • Drawing,
  • Intimating,
  • Lodging,
  • Receiving
  • Opposing (if so advised)

Any reponing note, written motion or minute for any party is payable only in relation to time engaged in the conduct of the hearing and any continued hearing. The conduct of the hearing is the actual time involved in the substantive argument and does not include any formal attendance at a hearing. Argument covers the substantive issue raised in the motion and also includes argument on an associated legal point or the need to adjourn.

This fee can only be charged where a hearing before the sheriff is involved but is not restricted to an opposed motion, being sufficiently flexible to cover an unopposed motion proceeding before the sheriff. (6 units)

The fee payable under paragraph 3(a)(i) [of Chapter 2 of Schedule 6 of the Civil Legal Aid (Scotland) (Fees) Regulations 1989] includes the first quarter hour of argument, even if involving appearances on different dates. This fee is not chargeable on a quarter hour block but rather in actual time on the total number of minutes taken up in argument at a hearing or continued hearings (rule 10).

Example 1: First appearance – advocacy 5 minutes
Second appearance – advocacy 6 minutes

The initial fee, including the first quarter hour of argument, in this example, would cover both court diets. No further attendance fee under paragraph 3(a)(iii) is chargeable in this example.

Example 2: First appearance – moving for adjournment (unopposed) – no charge
Second appearance – motion for adjournment (opposed) – advocacy 8 minutes
Third appearance – argument on substantive issue – (adjourned) – advocacy 10 minutes

In the first appearance the 15 minutes, included in the block fee, does not start to run. Eight minutes of the block is taken up in the second appearance. The third appearance takes the total time for advocacy to 18 minutes. The fee chargeable is one unit under paragraph 3(a)(iii), the first 15 minutes being included in the block fee prescribed by paragraph 3(a)(i).

The fee prescribed at paragraph 3(a)(ii) is where no hearing is required (2 units).

The fee prescribed by paragraph 3(a)(iii) is for attendance where the hearing, including any continuation, exceeds 15 minutes (1 unit).

Fees chargeable for hearings under Ordinary Cause rule 18.3

The fee chargeable under this paragraph includes a hearing under rule 18.3 of the Ordinary Cause Rules in Schedule 1 to the Sheriff Courts (Scotland) Act 1907 (rule 9, as amended).

Charges for waiting time in relation to motions and minutes

Waiting time is not chargeable in terms of paragraph 6 [of Chapter 2 of Schedule 6 of the Civil Legal Aid (Scotland) (Fees) Regulations 1989] relating to conduct and waiting. The aggregation of conduct and waiting fees as prescribed in paragraph 6 do not apply to motions and minutes.

Fees for motions in gremio

A motion fee is allowable for a motion for interim orders in gremio of a writ. Interim orders craved within the body of a writ are chargeable on the same basis as those prepared separately by way of a written motion both under this paragraph and motions chargeable under Chapter 1 (undefended) [Schedule 6 of the Civil Legal Aid (Scotland) (Fees) Regulations 1989].

Minute of amendment: point at which a fee is chargeable

The fees prescribed by paragraph 3(b)(i) [of Chapter 2 of Schedule 6 of the Civil Legal Aid (Scotland) (Fees) Regulations 1989] cover drawing or receiving a minute of amendment where the assisted person is bringing the amendment and no answers are lodged. (4 units)
This fee is only chargeable where:

  • It can be shown that the Minute was necessary due to a new development in the case
  • It contains relevant information which was previously unknown to you
  • The work could not have been done at an earlier stage in the proceedings

The purpose of these provisions is to ensure that we are not charged for work you carry out in bringing the Amendment where you could have done the work earlier, before the Record was closed. The fact that the court allows a Minute of Amendment does not in any way affect the reasonableness of the work having been carried out, perhaps unnecessarily, at this late stage.

This does not apply to you having to respond to the Minute of Amendment.

3(b)(ii) The fee prescribed by paragraph 3(b)(ii) is chargeable where the amendment is sought by another party and no answers are lodged. (2 units)

3(b)(iii) The fee prescribed by paragraph 3(b)(iii) is chargeable where the Minute is answered, to include adjustment as required, for any party. (6 units)

Fees for specification of documents

3(c)(i) [of Chapter 2 of Schedule 6 of the Civil Legal Aid (Scotland) (Fees) Regulations 1989] – The fee prescribed by paragraph 3(c)(i) covers drawing, intimating and lodging the Specification. (4 units)

3(c)(ii) – The fee prescribed by paragraph 3(c)(ii) is chargeable by the opposing solicitor (2 units).

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