The Legal Aid and Advice and Assistance (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Scotland) (No.2) Regulations 2023 came into force on 29 April 2023. This Guidance item was not affected but a copy has been placed with related guidance in the archive section for the regulations in force prior to 29 April 2023.
The conclusion of the proceedings is a matter of fact. It is not always possible to gauge at any given time whether the proceedings are indeed concluded and we may well pay an account – perhaps in a situation where a warrant has been granted – only to find that further procedure takes place. There is no way of avoiding this situation as a balance has to be struck between delaying payment to make absolutely sure that the proceedings are concluded and, on the other hand, making reasonably prompt payment to a solicitor concerned in the conduct of the proceedings.
If further procedure does take place and another solicitor becomes involved, we have to adjust our assessment of the account, and the solicitor(s) involved in the earlier stages of the proceedings will have to repay us the appropriate proportion of the money we have already paid.
It is not a tenable argument that the proceedings are concluded simply because a solicitor’s involvement in them is at an end.