As discussed, the “proceedings”, as defined, for the purpose of remuneration under the fixed payments regime, also include “complaints which arise out of the same incident”. The only relevant criterion in our applying this provision, therefore, is that the charge or charges on the complaint arise out of the same incident. The resultant range of charges can be every bit as disparate as the charges within a single complaint. The fact that the charge or charges brought into the “proceedings” may be of a totally different nature or could potentially involve more work are not relevant considerations.
It should be noted that this provision applies even where proceedings have been determined to have exceptional case status. An exceptional case remains relevant criminal legal aid or ABWOR, despite the changed payment arrangements.
The provision relating to proceedings arising from the same incident does not apply to excluded proceedings, either under summary criminal legal aid or ABWOR, not being “relevant” ABWOR or legal aid – for example, where the case has been reduced from solemn to summary procedure or you have undertaken work under regulation 15 (special urgency provisions).
Whether the excluded proceedings are deserted pro loco et tempore or not, and a second complaint is served arising out of the same incident, you are entitled to apply for legal aid or to provide ABWOR in respect of the second complaint. The new proceedings attract a fixed payment. The fixed payments regulations do not strike at paying a detailed account and a fixed payment in respect of separate proceedings; they only strike at paying a further core fixed payment or case disposal fee arising in the same “proceedings” where you are providing “relevant” ABWOR or legal aid.
On the other hand, in this example, if a third or subsequent complaint arising from the same incident were to be served, you would not be able to apply for legal aid or provide ABWOR as you are now, by this stage, providing relevant (fixed payments) ABWOR or legal aid.
The consequences set out above also apply where you are providing ABWOR and criminal legal aid in the case.
For example, where you are providing summary legal aid under fixed payments, you cannot provide separate ABWOR in connection with a further complaint arising out of the same incident.
Equally, where you are providing fixed payment ABWOR and apply for criminal legal aid if your client tenders a plea of not guilty, you are nevertheless only entitled ultimately to one fixed payment for ABWOR and legal aid where the respective complaints arise out of the same incident.
Although you can only claim one fixed payment, we recognise that there are still two (or more) proceedings within the single matter (for the purposes of remuneration), so you can claim further additional or “add-on” fixed payments prescribed by Schedules 1, 1A or 1B in connection with both complaints, depending on the circumstances of each case – for example:
Whilst you are entitled to payment for each deferred sentence even where the procedure within each of the cases diverges, this remains subject to the inclusion of two deferred sentences within the principal fixed payment. In most cases, perhaps following an early plea and effective consolidation of the cases, only the first and second deferred sentences are included. There can be circumstances, however, where the respective proceedings take different courses, where up to two deferred sentences may be included in the fixed payment in respect of each of the proceedings included within the single matter for payment purposes.
When claiming payment you should always list the deferred sentences and whether they arose in the substantive proceedings or, for example, the proceedings arising from the breach of bail etc. This shall assist us in make the proper payment in the circumstances of the case.