Dedicated staff members in high cost/complex cases
Where we identify a potentially high cost case we will allocate responsibility for it to a member of staff. You can approach this nominated member of our team in the knowledge that they will understand the circumstances surrounding the case and your approach to it.
Advise on all aspects of post-grant work
Help you prepare cases efficiently and effectively
Advise on potential accounts issues, giving you a better assurance of payment when you send us your account
Using your dedicated contact should allow us to:
Reduce bureaucracy for you
Reduce the number of occasions when we have to ask for more information or supporting documentation and when we have to review our decisions
Allow us to make faster and better informed decisions
Lead to fewer court continuations and/or adjournments
Before applying for any approvals for work to be done you can seek early advice from us on:
What information we need to let us consider your requests for approval to instruct an expert witness
When a comparative quote from another expert is necessary
If you need is cover for counsel for a particular piece of work especially where you have sanction for counsel to conduct the proof or the appeal itself.
Discussing these issues with us removes the need for us to continue applications for more information and leads to fewer queries at the accounts assessment stage.
If you disagree with a decision the staff member takes another staff member will consider any fresh request.
Avoiding duplication of work
With dedicated members of staff following a case throughout its history, we also aim to identify any unnecessary duplication of work:
In cases where there are several parties, we often see near identical requests for particular items of work from each party. The cost would be divided equally and fairly between all parties including, where appropriate, SCRA and Children 1st
Statements should be shared to avoid, for example, a child being precognosced unnecessarily several times and an expert charging a fee to each party for what could be the same information.
Consideration will be given to the sharing of the instruction and conclusions of an expert report where this is deemed to be appropriate and no conflict of interest arises.
Rule 3.64A of the Act of Sederunt (Child Care and Maintenance Rules) 1997 as amended by the Act of Sederunt (Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011)(Miscellaneous Amendments) 2013 states that the sheriff may order parties to takes such steps as the sheriff deems necessary to secure the expeditious determination of the application, including but not limited to, instructing a single expert. In addition, for cases taking place in the Sheriffdom of Glasgow and Strathkelvin Practice Note number 1 of 2018 states that the court will consider joint instruction of a single expert witness to be the norm and that parties who wish to instruct and lead competing experts will require the approval of the court to do so. Where you are seeking approval to instruct your own expert rather than a joint expert you will require to satisfy us that this is both reasonable and necessary taking all of this into account.