Schedule 1A fee (the legal aid case disposal fee in the sheriff court)

The case disposal fee, applicable only to the sheriff court (£485/£499.55 where legal aid granted on or after 26 April 2019), 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 case disposal fee 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 10 to 13

The underlying basis of this fee, as the name suggests, is that it covers all work up to and including the sentencing stage.  The under-21 and rural court supplements are not chargeable in addition to this fee nor are there further fixed payments for

  • a lengthy proof in mitigation
  • any procedure in relation to a victim statement

The range of fixed payments chargeable in addition to the case disposal fee are more limited than in the circumstances where the core fixed payment is chargeable, to create a standard fee chargeable on disposal of the case at any stage.

Only the fixed payments at paragraphs 10 to 13 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 case disposal fee is only chargeable in connection with proceedings before the sheriff or a stipendiary magistrate court.

Sections 22ZA(1)(b). 22ZB and 27(1)(b) (breach of bail) – half fee

A half-case disposal fee, subject to the same provisions as set out in the preceding paragraph, is available in proceedings arising from section 22ZA(1)(b), 22ZB and 27(1)(b) of the 1995 Act.

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