The block fees chargeable include all travel to court, except where the following conditions are met:

  • The solicitor claiming travel time is a solicitor with whom the client has had significant contact in relation to the conduct of the case.
  • Your attendance was necessary to advance the case.
    • Local agents should be used for distant court attendances unless the solicitor who has had significant contact in relation to the conduct of the case can demonstrate that it is reasonable and necessary to protect the client’s interests that the solicitor should attend court personally. You have to address this issue.

In forming a view, you should consider:

  • Distance involved
  • Nature and purpose of the hearing
  • How personal attendance will further the case
  • Nature and complexity of the proceedings
  • Availability of local agents

We would not, in normal circumstances, consider it reasonable for you to undertake the travel, and the increased expenditure where:

  • It is known in advance that the hearing is to be adjourned
  • The hearing is routine or procedural, or does not advance the cause
  • Negotiations take place at court that could have been carried out earlier by correspondence

The distance travelled is at least 10 miles in each direction from the solicitor’s normal place of work.

When payment for travel time is claimed for more than one case, you have to apportion the time equally among the various cases for which you attended court (including non-legally aided cases).

Fees should be charged separately from conduct and waiting time incurred under paragraph 6 [of Chapter 2 of Schedule 6 of the Civil Legal Aid (Scotland) (Fees) Regulations 1989].

Travel expenses can only be incurred where travel time is chargeable.

Where travel time is chargeable, reasonable travel expenses such as mileage or standard train fares can be claimed. The regulations provide that you should travel by public transport where it is more cost effective to do so.

You are entitled to payment for all travel time and outlays where the 20 mile return threshold is exceeded.

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