Legal Aid: High Costs 1 and 2 Counsel Events Cases

When switching between one and two counsel schemes on different cases, it can get confusing, due to the slight differences between them. Here is a quick overview of those differences:

(NB: except in certain rare circumstances, remember you cannot have a hybrid of both schemes on a single case – one scheme applies throughout).

Advocates meetings: unlimited on single counsel (1C) (so long as ordered in advance), limited to 2 per advocate (not 2 in total!), unless the main hearing is split, in which case another 2 between fact-finding and welfare will be allowed. Non attendance fee: applicable in two counsel (2C) only, for hearings (not advocates meetings!) the solicitor did not attend. In 1C the solicitor is paid an event regardless of any attendance.

Level of Court: makes no difference to rates in 2C. However, there is a High Court and Lower Court Event rate in 1C - the level of which is determined by where the matter concludes, not where each hearing is heard.

Main hearing – over/under 11 days: 1C – affects solicitor rates and whether Counsel on FAS or events. 2C – makes no difference to solicitor but affects whether Counsel on FGF or events.

Evidence to submit with the final case plan:

  • orders supporting advocates meetings – 1C only

  • FAS forms and attendance notes for solicitor conferences – solicitor advocacy model only, 1C

  • endorsed briefs (or solicitor attendance notes if the solicitor attended alone) for advocates meetings, and for counsel conferences – both schemes (but no Counsel briefs required where Counsel claimed FAS on 1C scheme)

  • orders supporting written submissions in advance – both schemes

  • orders supporting reading days plus attendance note for that day – both schemes

  • usual disbursement evidence and supporting orders – both schemes

  • counsel fee notes, acceptance forms, and travel breakdown/evidence- both schemes

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