ABWOR accounts and instructing local agents

General rules:

  • You should instruct a local agent for representation before a tribunal at a distant location.
  • Where a firm has more than one place of business, a solicitor based in the office local to the tribunal should, where possible, represent the client before the tribunal.

If someone other than the acting solicitor can deal with the matter then consideration should be given to instructing a local solicitor, due regard being had to economy [Regulation 17 of The Advice and Assistance (Scotland) Regulations 1996].  Additional costs, such as travel, would probably be unreasonable and may be the subject of abatement.

You should take various matters into account in deciding whether to instruct a local agent:

  • Distance involved.
  • The nature and purpose of the hearing.
  • To what extent the case will be furthered by your personal attendance.
  • Whether the attendance is of a formal nature since an agreement and a course of action, for example, adjournment, dismissal etc. has been reached.
  • The nature, gravity and complexity of the proceedings.
  • The availability of local agents.

If you have dealt with a number of other cases on the same day, thus diluting the travel costs, the personal attendance may not be an issue in the particular account.  However, a number of attendances, none of them justified, will not be enough to substantiate additional travel costs.

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