Division of duties between you and counsel

Where you and counsel are both acting in proceedings for the assisted person, we will only pay for work that we consider to be actually and reasonably done, due regard being made to economy.

We will assess whether work (including travel and waiting time) was necessary for the proper conduct of the case and if it was carried out in the most effective and cost efficient manner.

You should establish as early as possible how particular tasks might be best divided between members of the team in a manner that ensures maximum efficiency. You and counsel should liaise in allocating responsibilities.

Where approval is granted for the employment of two junior counsel, in addition to senior counsel, it is all the more important that detailed records are kept as to what documentation is perused and by whom. Only the level of sheetage perused by the individuals concerned will be chargeable by reference to the ranges of sheetage set out in the fee regulations.

Unnecessary or unexplained duplication of work will be abated at the accounts stage.

Only legal aid fees can be paid

While legal aid is in place, neither you nor counsel can take any other payment in respect of any advice or anything done in connection with those proceedings [Section 32 of the Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1986].

No other solicitor or counsel can advise or act for the assisted person in connection with the proceedings, this is prohibited.

The effect of this is that an assisted person cannot “top up” a grant of legal aid by paying privately for:

  • work we have not approved
  • the employment of counsel/ an expert witness whose employment we have not sanctioned.

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