The case disposal fee, again applicable only to the sheriff court, is the appropriate fee where ABWOR has been made available in this court.
The fee is available to
- a solicitor representing a client in a cited case or on an undertaking to appear, on the application of a means and merits test, and
- the appointed solicitor representing a client appearing from custody, on the application of a means test
This fixed payment 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 a proof in mitigation or a proof of a victim statement, other than in the circumstances where work is done in connection with a complaint under sections 22ZA(1)(b), 22ZB or 27(1)(b) of the 1995 Act (there is no prescribed fee in any event in the sheriff or stipendiary magistrates court for conducting a proof in mitigation for the first 30 minutes or indeed after the first 30 minutes, in any event)
- 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 specified in paragraphs 8, 8A, 9 and 10 of Schedule 1B
The case disposal fee, as with its summary legal aid counterpart in Schedule 1A (see paragraph 3.9 above), includes all work up to and including the sentencing stage.
The only fixed payments, payable in addition to this fee, are those relating to:
- a third or subsequent deferred sentence (the first or second being subsumed within the case disposal fee)
- representation, per appearance in a court designated as a youth court, domestic abuse court or at a hearing in respect of a community supervision order 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 section 32 or an appeal under section 201(4) of the 1995 Act
Fixed payments that would have been chargeable in addition to a core fixed payment were “stripped out” as part of the 2008 summary criminal reforms to provide for a more substantial case disposal fee, chargeable at any time on the final disposal of the case.
There are no additional fixed payments for a lengthy proof in mitigation.