New Simple Procedure rules from 28 November 2016


Thursday, Nov 17, 2016

This update provides information about changes to the regulations for civil legal aid arising from implementation of the Courts Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 in relation to the introduction of the new ‘simple procedure’ (provided for at section 72(9) of the 2014 Act).

Accounts

The Civil Legal Aid (Scotland)(Fees) Amendment Regulations 2016, available here, as amended by the Civil Legal Aid (Scotland) (Fees) Amendment (No. 2) Regulations 2016, available here, will come into force on 28 November 2016.

The new Simple Procedure Rules will come into force on the same date and will replace the small claims and summary cause procedure for certain payment actions which have a value of £5,000 or less in the sheriff court.

The Simple Procedure (Special Claims) Rules, which will replace the remaining special chapters in the summary cause procedure, including housing and personal injury, will be implemented in 2017.

In order that solicitors’ legal aid fees are in place to support the core Simple Procedure Rules, a new Schedule 2A of the Civil Legal Aid (Scotland)(Fees) Regulations 1989 is introduced that provides that fees are chargeable on a detailed fee basis.

The fees prescribed in Schedule 2A are equivalent to those presently allowable to solicitors for civil assistance by way of representation (ABWOR) in terms of schedule 3, part 1, of the Advice and Assistance (Scotland) Regulations 1996.

In addition, the exceptional case provisions, as provided for in Schedule 7, paragraph 1(3)(d), have also been amended to allow for an exceptional case application to be made in simple procedure cases where payment in accordance with Schedule 2A would not provide reasonable remuneration for the work actually, necessarily and reasonably done because the case involved:

(i)    unusual court procedure for which a fee is not otherwise prescribed; or
(ii)    a significantly greater volume of work than is usual for a case of that type.

Where the application is granted you will charge the account under Schedule 5 (detailed fees) in line with the existing payment arrangements for other civil exceptional cases.

Accounts under simple procedure must be submitted on paper pending the development and implementation of the online Accounts Re-write solution.

Applications

We have created a new “court option” for civil legal aid applications where the subject matter involves the simple procedure. That option is “sheriff court – simple procedure”. 

Depending on the type of case involved where a financial claim is being made, you may be asked to confirm the value of the claim before the application is submitted. This question will not be asked where the application involves a claim arising from personal injuries.   

Updated guidance is available in the civil handbook.

For further information, please contact:
Steven Carrie
Senior Accounts Specialist
E: carriest@slab.org.uk

 


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