Instructing a solicitor advocate instead of an advocate

We cannot sanction the general use of a solicitor advocate for a case in the sheriff court given the terms of regulation 2 of the Civil Legal Aid (Scotland)(Fees) Regulations 1989.

However, we may consider requests for sanction to cover the use of a solicitor advocate in cases where there is:

  • unusual work
  • unusually large expenditure.

The advocate’s involvement would be restricted to using their specialist skills for the specialised pleading aspects of a case.  If we sanction them on this basis the solicitor advocate can only however be paid as a solicitor of the 1989 Regulations.

Where we have approved the employment of counsel or where counsel may be employed without such approval, you may without reference to us, employ a solicitor advocate or an advocate.  Any request to us should be for the employment of counsel rather than a solicitor advocate.

The onus is on you and the instructed solicitor advocate to:

  • establish that work is actually and reasonably done
  • avoid any unnecessary duplication
  • allocate responsibilities and relevant heads of work properly
  • ensure the case is conducted with due regard to economy.

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