Identifying case types where A&A is appropriate: distinct and reasonably ancillary matters

When granting advice and assistance, you must decide whether this relates to a distinct matter [Regulation 8A of the Advice and Assistance (Scotland) Regulations 1996].

This is simply a way of describing a significant piece of legal advice that your client would expect to receive from you. We, in consultation with the Law Society, have set out an extensive list of categories of case that fall within this description. Once a category of advice has been listed, it can only be removed from the list with the consent of Scottish Ministers.

If the matter appears on the list, and your client meets all the eligibility criteria, you can grant advice and assistance up to the initial limits of £120 or £180. The grant covers the subject matter and all matters reasonably ancillary to it.

The category codes card lists all the category codes for civil matters, showing whether they are standard or diagnostic matters and the initial limits that apply.

The list of categories recognises the possibility that you may have to give advice on individual matters (all of which are distinct matters) such as:

  • Divorce
  • Reparation
  • Sale of heritable property
  • Residence/contact orders

However, where the subject matter to which the advice and assistance relates is a listed category, you only approve one application for advice and assistance. That includes:

 All other listed categories that are “reasonably ancillary” to the advice you are giving


 All “reasonably ancillary” matters that are not listed


This means that where you give your client advice and assistance on a divorce, the same grant will include:

 All advice in connection with residence/contact matters, financial provisions, division and sale of heritable property (all listed matters)


 Matters that are not listed such as arrears of council tax or a dispute over shares or the status of a joint bank account in the course of adjusting a Minute of Agreement


You can also apply to us to provide standard advice and assistance to a client on matters that are not currently listed.

If the subject matter is not distinct, you can grant a diagnostic interview up to the limit of £45 to diagnose the nature of the case and decide whether to apply to us for authority to give further advice and assistance.



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