A curator ad litem is appointed by the court. Even if you are a practising solicitor you cannot provide advice and assistance to a child or incapable adult in your capacity as a court appointed curator ad litem. In terms of section 6 of the 1986 Act, advice and assistance can only be provided by a solicitor acting as a solicitor.

Unlike the position for safeguarders, there is no statutory payment mechanism for common law curators ad litem. However, a curator ad litem can act in a dual capacity as both curator to the child or incapable adult and solicitor to the child or incapable adult. The curator can apply for advice and assistance on behalf of the child in terms of regulation 6(2) of the Advice and Assistance (Scotland) Regulations 1996.

Where you are appointed as a curator and you decide to act in this dual capacity we can only pay you for work done providing legal services. You cannot charge for work carried out in your sole capacity as a curator ad litem. For example, if you wanted to observe contact and provide a report to the sheriff in your capacity as a curator a request for an increase to cover this cost cannot be granted as this is not providing advice and assistance to your client as a solicitor.

Where you are appointed as a curator we cannot grant you an increase to make initial investigations about whether the child or incapable adult needs legal representation as well as having their interests safeguarded in the proceedings by you acting as their curator. This is not providing advice to your client when no decision has been made about whether your client needs legal advice from you acting as a solicitor.

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