Dean of Faculty ruling on appearance of counsel without an agent: relaxation of previous rules and implications

Civil hearings: no current requirement for agents to appear behind counsel

There is no longer any formal requirement for you to attend behind counsel at any civil court hearing. This change has an effect on the way that we will approach charges made you for attendance behind counsel [Regulation 4 of the Civil Legal Aid (Scotland) (Fees) Regulations 1989].

You shall be allowed fees which are determined by us to be reasonable remuneration for work actually, necessarily and reasonably done.

Accounts entries: information you should provide us with if appearing behind counsel

You should be in a position to confirm why attendance behind counsel was required. If counsel has indicated a requirement for your attendance then this should be recorded in a file note or email from counsel. No fee for seeking or producing such an note is allowable.

We recognise that there will be cases where attendance with counsel is entirely appropriate.

Cases which we would consider inappropriate for you to attend are:

  • Procedural or formal hearings.
  • Hearings where any substantive issues are narrow or in short compass and are susceptible to being instructed in advance unless counsel advises otherwise.