Providing sufficient information for the assessment of account entries
The narrative should be sufficient to determine the nature and the reasonableness of the work. A former Glasgow Auditor of Court put it this way, “I would have to say that agents who…charge a detailed account oblige themselves to provide details of sufficient clarity that would make sense to anyone reading the narrative(s) in respect of any given charge, the more so in third-party paying accounts of this nature where the recipient has no personal knowledge of the case or its progress;”. He continued, “the composing of narratives should have the effect of focusing the mind of the presenter of the account and the result should be the removal of doubt in the mind of the recipient. The propriety of the charge is oft time resolved in pursuance of this exercise”.
This does not mean that every entry requires lengthy, detailed narrative, but the narrative should be sufficient to make clear what happened and to justify the associated charge.
Essential information you must provide when setting out accounts entries
Accounts should be typed.
You should remember to:
Set out entries in strict chronological order.
Show any travel, waiting, meetings and attendances at court (where appropriate) separately.
In time-based entries, always show the actual time incurred and round up the fee to the nearest quarter hour (half hour for initial advocacy fee in ABWOR) in terms of the Table of Fees (for example, “10am to 10.50am –1 hour).
Provide the name and the status, qualified or unqualified, of the person carrying out each item of work. Where you have undertaken all the work yourself, we will accept a docquet on the account to this effect.
Sub-total (for paper accounts only) each page of the account to ease the calculation of increases.