Specific information and justification required for our assessment of fees for preparation work

We cannot properly consider claims for preparation where the narrative contains little or no information describing the nature of the work done.  You should provide a detailed supporting narrative outlining the nature of the actual work undertaken together with the actual time spent.

It is not appropriate to claim a standard time charge for preparation.  You must give us enough information in every case to allow us to form an objective view as to whether

  • fees for any preparatory work undertaken are necessary and reasonable having regard to the particular circumstances of the case and the actual work done
  • the work done was necessary and
  • the time taken to do the work was reasonable.

Giving us this information also enables us to objectively identify inappropriate claims for preparation, for example:

  • solicitors checking over and re-familiarising themselves with the file or whole material or documentation already perused and claimed for elsewhere in the account
  • a solicitor considering the legislation or case law, which is a non-chargeable activity.

You should be in a position, if asked, to produce a detailed note or record summarising the nature of the work done or, if applicable, the nature of the documentation perused, at each stage of the process and the time taken.  You should retain and produce, if requested, any contemporaneous record or notes made during preparation.

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