Advocates Attendance Form: EX506 Form
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What is an Advocates Attendance Form?
A Family Advocacy Scheme Advocates Attendance Form is used for the authorisation of extra payments to an advocate in some types of family law hearings. The form should be authorised by a Judge or Magistrate on conclusion of a hearing, and forms may be refused if they are authorised after this point.
Under the Civil Legal Aid (remuneration) regulations 2013, an advocate is defined as Counsel, a Solicitor’s Advocate or CILEX Member.
According to version 3 of the Legal Aid Agency’s Civil Finance Electronic Handbook, “An advocates attendance form may not be available in hearings undertaken remotely, for example by video, webcam or telephone conference … notes of the hearing on the brief or an attendance note will suffice as evidence of the hearing.”
What can be Claimed within an EX506 Form?
Additional payments, also known as “bolt-ons” can be claimed in certain circumstances in payment of extra work which has been carried out by the advocate, or they may be awarded to reflect the complexity of the case. Examples of when a bolt on can be claimed using an Advocates Attendance Form are outlined below:
- A bolt-on of 25% of the hearing fee can be claimed by an advocate representing a client who is facing allegations in a public law or private law proceedings for causing significant harm to a child. The bolt-on will only apply in public law children proceedings if a local authority is making the allegations against the client.
- A bolt-on of 25% of the hearing fee can be claimed by an advocate who is representing a person in public law children cases who has difficulty providing instruction or understanding advice. The client’s condition must be verified by a medical report and attributable to a mental disorder or a significant impairment of intelligence or social functioning.
- In public law cases, a bolt on of 25% of the hearing fee, and in private cases, 20% of the hearing fee can be claimed in circumstances where independent expert evidence will be cross examined and substantially challenged by any party.
- In some cases, which exclude domestic abuse proceedings, additional payments to advocates can be made depending on the size of the advocate bundle. An ABP1 bundle payment may be made for Court bundles comprising of between 350 and 700 pages. An ABP2 payment may be made for bundles over 700 pages. It is important to note that, in Public Law proceedings, bundle payments will only be made to advocates for an interim hearing that is an Issues Resolution Hearing, a Case Management Conference, or a hearing which has been listed due to contested evidence.
- An APB3 payment may be requested for a final hearing, which may include a Fact Finding Hearing or an Issues Resolution Hearing if the case concludes at that stage. A Final Hearing is one which the Court has listed with the aim of making a final decision on the whole case, or all issues relating to any aspect of the case.
Failure to Complete an Advocates Attendance Form
The LAA are evidence based when it comes to assessing costs. If you fail to obtain an Advocates Attendance Form confirming the details under which FAS should be paid for the hearing, then you will likely be limited to a Unit 1 payment only for a hearing of up to 1 hour.
In the absence of a FAS form, a hearing note may suffice detailing the work completed however, it may be rejected by the LAA in the absence of other evidence.
A further option is to have the Judge/Magistrate record the FAS details in the Court Order itself, in place of the Advocates Attendance Form.
It should also be noted that as FAS forms cannot be updated retrospectively, if you fail to seek bolt-ons on the day, then you will not be able to retrospectively claim these. As such before you attend any hearing, ensure you have made a record of what applicable bolt-ons may apply so that you can seek these at the conclusion of any hearing.
How can ARC Costs Assist?
We also assist in quantifying and negotiating inter-partes costs in legally aid funded cases. We are always happy to help with costs challenges/queries and can provide information on dealing with inter-partes costs in legal aid matters.
We can be contacted via email at email@example.com, or by telephone on 01204 397302. For more information on legal costs, please find out more about our speciality areas of expertise and our services on our legal costs page, as well as seeing working examples of our work on the case studies page.
ARC Costs is a company registered in England and Wales.
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