The core fixed payment in the sheriff court uder Schedule 1A (£572.00) where legal aid is granted on or after 29 April 2023), is the appropriate fee where criminal legal aid has been made available and either:
- the case does not proceed to trial; or
- the case proceeds to trial but not beyond the first 30 minutes
In these circumstances the core fixed payment prescribed at Schedule 1A, paragraph 1 is chargeable and covers all work up to and including:
- any diet at which a plea of guilty is made and accepted or plea in mitigation is made
- the first 30 minutes of conducting any trial
- a first or second diet of deferred sentence
- advising, giving an opinion and taking final instructions on the prospects of an appeal against conviction, sentence, other disposal or acquittal, and
- any subsequent or additional work other than that of the kind specified in Schedule 1, Part 1, paragraphs 6 to 10.
The underlying basis of this fee is that it covers all work up to and including the sentencing stage. There are no further fixed payments for:
- a proof in mitigation
- any procedure in relation to a victim statement.
The range of “add-on” fixed payments chargeable fee are more limited than in the circumstances where the core fixed payment is chargeable underSchedule 1, to create a standard fee chargeable on disposal of the case at any stage.
Only the fixed payments at paragraphs 6 to 10 of Schedule 1 are chargeable in addition to the core fixed payment. These relate to:
- a further deferred sentence (in effect, a third and subsequent deferred sentence, the first two deferred sentences being subsumed within the fee)
- the additional payment where the court considers an S.E.R. and the case is disposed of within either of the first or second deferred sentences, to recognise additional work undertaken within the case disposal fee
- a bail appeal under sections 32 or 201(4) of the 1995 Act.
The core fixed payment is only chargeable in connection with proceedings before the sheriff court.