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Counsel Fees in Family High Costs Cases

Since civil rates were harmonised in December 2013 there has been some confusion surrounding Counsel fees. The LAA themselves have acknowledged that the basis of remuneration in High Costs cases which fall outside FAS is not clear and has caused confusion and misinformation for several years. In family matters, where FAS / CCFS is not applicable, the LAA are obliged to `have regard` to FGF for these cases. The ECCT have advised that fees based on hours/hourly rates are fine, as long as it can be evidenced that they are equivalent to the relevant FGF remuneration. Although they are willing to accept any form of breakdown of fees providing clear information, they have suggested that the easiest way of achieving this this is to present draft CLAIM5s forms. Also note that, despite the occasional spate of requests for CF1As in non-high costs matters, these are still not mandatory in family cases and do not have to be provided.

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