Travel costs for one destination: attending on multiple clients and when to round up time spent

If you have five different clients and spent an hour in total with them, 12 minutes for each case, it would be appropriate to round this up to quarter of an hour for each file.

The actual time spent with each client should be recorded in each account and file.

Attending the same client for different matters: separate grants but one chargeable meeting

If the five cases in the example above were all to relate to the same client, then the total time chargeable would be 60 minutes (that is, the actual total time rounded up to the next quarter hour, not rounded up for each individual case). The fact that separate grants exist for each matter is an administrative device that does not lead to separate payments for each of them. This is one meeting for charging purposes.

Providing additional advice to the same client at destination: appropriate allocation of travel costs across matters

The same principles as above apply in circumstances where you travel to visit a client and have to give additional advice on a different matter. You should apportion the total time taken between all cases for that client. For example, if the total travel time is 60 minutes and you have a 44 minute attendance with your client providing advice on 5 different matters, the total time chargeable is 1 hr 44 minutes rounded up to the quarter hour.

The outward travel is chargeable to the original advice and the return travel should be apportioned between all five matters.

Providing additional advice to another client at destination: appropriate charging and increases

You may travel to a prison or a hospital only intending to see one client on one subject matter. While you are there, you may find that another client needs advice on another matter. Here, you should charge for travel to the meeting under the original case, and apportion the return travel equally between all cases. You can apply for an increase in authorised expenditure for any of the new cases in order to cover the portion of the return travel costs.

Should you intend to visit more than one client, you must ensure sufficient authorised expenditure is in place for each case to cover the apportioned travel costs to and from the establishment.

This system is fairer than allowing for one client’s increase in authorised expenditure to cover travel for meetings with other clients. Other clients should not benefit from grants from other cases and they should meet their own share of costs.

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