Civil legal aid block fee accounts: fees chargeable for motions and minutes

Your account should provide a brief narrative as to the nature of the motion and/or minute of amendment to allow us to determine whether payment can be made without having to ask for further information.

In the absence of the necessary information in support of the fee as outlined below the fee is likely to be restricted and we will ask for more information.

The motion fee covers the drawing, intimating, lodging, receiving and opposing (if so advised) any reponing note or written motion or minute (including Motions for interim orders) for any party:

  • where opposed or unopposed and involving a hearing before the Sheriff, to include the first quarter hour of argument, even if involving appearances on different dates – six units
  • where unopposed and not involving a hearing – two units
  • thereafter attendance fee per quarter hour, including any continuation of the diet ordered by the Sheriff to allow a minute of amendment to be received and answered – one unit.

The six unit block covers the first quarter hour of argument, even if involving appearances on different dates. For example, if there are three diets and they each take five minutes no additional conduct fee will be payable as the first 15 minutes has not been exceeded.

If the motion, including any continued diet, takes longer than 15 minutes of argument then a separate conduct fee of one unit is payable. Once the first 15 minute has elapsed each subsequent diet will attract a minimum one unit charge. So if you have four continued hearings lasting:

  • Hearing 1 – 8 minutes
  • Hearing 2 – 7 minutes
  • Hearing 3 – 3 minutes; and
  • Hearing 4 – 3 minutes.

Hearings 3 and 4 will each be payable at an additional one unit rate as the first 15 minutes of argument have been exceeded at Hearing 3.

It is important to note that no waiting time is chargeable for a motion or minute hearing.

The notes on the operation (paragraph 9) states that the conduct of the hearing is the actual time involved in the substantive argument and does not include any formal attendance at a hearing for the purpose of seeking an adjournment or other formal attendance not devoted to the stating of the argument.

You should ensure that your account is charged accordingly.

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).

No charges for waiting time in relation to motions and minutes

Waiting time is not chargeable for any motion or minute hearing. Only those hearing payable in terms of paragraph 6 of Chapter II can be paid for time spent waiting at court.

By dint of that the aggregation of conduct and waiting fees as prescribed in paragraph 6 similarly 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

In addition to the motion fee a fee is separately chargeable, where appropriate, to cover drawing, or receiving a Minute of Amendment on the following basis:

  • where the assisted person is the party bringing amendment and no answers lodged – four units are payable
  • where amendment is sought by another party and no answers lodged by assisted person – two units are payable
  • where answered, to include adjustment as required, for any party – six units are payable.

A minute of amendment is only payable where paragraph 4 on the notes on the operation of chapter II, is met:

  • the Minute was necessary due to a new development in the case
  • relevant information which was previously unknown to the solicitor came to the solicitor’s attention; or
  • the work could not have been done at an earlier stage in the proceedings.

All three tests must be met before we can make payment

Fees for specification of documents

Where a party makes an application for a specification of documents:

  • the party drawing, intimating and lodging Specification is entitled to a fee of four units;
  • the opposing or receiving party is entitled to two units.

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