Legal Aid: High Costs 2 Counsel Events Cases

Beware ‘hybrid’ cases! We have had some difficulties in the past with LAA caseworkers seeking to apply single counsel event rates/rules to solicitors on two counsel cases, prior to the date that prior authority for QC was given. This creates a ‘hybrid’ case plan combining two schemes. Fortunately, Anthony Leal of the LAA has now confirmed that this is definitely not correct – the 2 counsel scheme applies retrospectively in all respects to the outset of the case, regardless of when prior authority for QC is granted. The only exception is that the QC him/herself cannot of course claim any event fees prior to the date of prior authority. But for JC and solicitor, event fees remain the same throughout. (A further exception occurs when authority is granted for solicitor advocate acting in lieu of JC to support Leading Counsel, this also only applies from the date authority is given, and only for hearings where the solicitor attends court and acts as such).

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