Practice and Procedure

Important Criminal Costs Case

PUBLISHED March 10, 2011

Costs appeal concerning the payment of a solicitor advocate in the Court of Appeal. 
The Defendant was granted a representation order covering leading and junior counsel (or advocate).
The junior advocate was a solicitor advocate attached to the appellant's solicitors firm. At the conclusion of the matter a bill in respect to the advocacy work for £15,750 (representing a brief fee of £15,000 and refreshers of £750) was submitted. The taxing officer paid only £9572 plus vat. That fee was based on hourly rates for the work done, there being no concept of "...a basic fee for preparation" (namely a brief fee).
Held: A solicitor advocate acting as an advocate should be paid as an advocate, not as a litigator. Accordingly the claim to be redetermined on that basis.