CRIMINAL LEGAL AID – MAXIMISING YOUR MAGISTRATES’ COURTS CLAIMS IN 2023 – 20 QUESTIONS FOR CONSIDERATION – MONDAY 13th MARCH 2023 – 16:00 – 17.00: - COST - £75 + VAT
This presentation will concentrate purely on the Billing of your Magistrates’ Court work. It has been written, and will be presented by, Colin Beaumont, contributor to the book – ‘Criminal Costs – Legal aid costs in the criminal courts – Anthony Edwards with Colin Beaumont’
This 1-hour ZOOM presentation will consider 20 Questions arising out of the criminal legal aid work that you do in the Magistrates’ Court
Working out the fee isn’t always easy and it is very easy to under-claim in this area – it is also very easy to, on occasion, over-claim and you wouldn’t want to have a problem on your audit
JUST HAVE A READ OF THE 20 QUESTIONS AND SEE IF THIS IS A COURSE FOR YOU – IN PARTICULAR, HAVE A LOOK AT QUESTION 6 – GETTING THAT DECISION RIGHT WILL BRING YOU A FEE WHICH IS MORE THAN TWICE THE COST OF THIS PRESENTATION!
ANYONE BOOKING ONTO THIS COURSE PRICED AT £75 + VAT WILL ALSO RECEIVE THE FOLLOWING FREE OF CHARGE
HAVE A LOOK AT THE 20 QUESTIONS – CAN YOU ANSWER THEM?
This 1-hour ZOOM presentation will be accompanied by a full set of notes.
DON’T WORRY IF YOU CANNOT ATTEND THE ACTUAL PRESENTATION (OR NEVER INTENDED TO ATTEND) –YOU WILL STILL GET THE FULL SET OF NOTES AND THE RECORDINGS WHICH YOU CAN SAVE TO A DEVICE OR WATCH AT YOUR LEISURE ON OUR YouTube CHANNEL
Anyone wishing to attend the session (or wishing to have the full sets of notes and the recordings afterwards without ever attending) should simply click here: mailto: email@example.com or ring me (or send me a text) – (07887) 842985 and book a place.
The following 20 Questions will be considered:
1 – You have 4 clients in the case – 2 of whom elect Crown Court jury trial and 2 of whom plead guilty and are dealt with in the Magistrates’ Court by way of sentence – how many fees?
2 – You have one client at Court – he is sent to the Crown Court for trial in relation to a robbery – the Court brings forward an unrelated drugs matter and he is also sent for trial on that matter as well – how many fees?
3 – Your client is charged at the same time with 2 offences – one of those offences remains in the Magistrates’ Court and the other is sent to the Crown Court – can you claim both a sending fee and a Magistrates’ Court fee in these circumstances? – Would it make any difference to your fee(s) if the matter retained in the lower Court with dealt with on the same occasion as the matter which was sent?
4 – Your client has just pleaded ‘not guilty’ to dangerous driving and jurisdiction has been retained by the Magistrates’ and there will be, in due course, a trial – it is your expectation that this case will ultimately be billed as a non-standard fee on a CRM 7 – Do you have your list of 25 THINGS THAT YOU SHOULD CONSIDER DOING in the case in order to both give an excellent service to the client and, almost as an aside, to maximise your fee?
5 – You would like, if possible, to move from the Category 2 fee to the Category 1 fee – it was initially a ‘not guilty’ plea but your client has now decided to plead ‘guilty’ – are you permitted to move from your Category 2 fee to a Category 1 fee where you have not done sufficient work to take you above the Category 2 lower standard fee limit but you have done enough to get over the Category 1 lower standard fee limit whereby you would like to claim a Category 1 higher standard fee – will your Contract permit this?
6 – Your client faces 2 charges – the prosecutor is happy to withdraw one of those charges in the event of your client pleading guilty to the other one – do you want this to happen? – Assuming your office is in a Designated Area, can you think of anything which would give you a fee of £397.14p rather than a fee of £232.53p? – that is a difference of £164.61p – it is also, incidentally, more than twice the amount of the fee for today’s course!!!
7 – In what circumstances might you be able to put in a successful application on a CRM 7 for ‘enhancements’ on areas of work that you have done in this particular Magistrates’ Court case? – Remember that where you claim an ‘enhancement’, your claim is for the normal hourly rate but enhanced by 100% of the hourly rate
8 – You have 3 cases in the Magistrates’ Court but all 3 are joined together at one sentencing hearing – does this, in any way, affect your claim?
9 – It’s one of those cases where the client faces a number of serious charges and, upon pleading guilty, is highly likely to be committed for sentence – do you want this to happen? – Might it not be better for your client to withhold pleas at this stage and be sent to the Crown Court and to sort the matter out at the Crown Court? – How does the decision you make impact upon the fees and impact upon your client’s room for manoeuvre?
10 – You represent 4 clients in the same case but they are sent to the Crown Court at different hearings – how many claims can you make? – What does Paragraph 10.140 of your Standard Crime Contract Specification document say about this scenario?
11 – How do you claim for a case in the Magistrates’ Court which is the subject of a contested Newton hearing?
12 – How do you claim when a warrant not backed for bail has been issued against your client in the proceedings?
13 – Are you fully up to speed with all of the fee increases on your Lower Crime Work effective from the 30th September 2022?
14 – Can you claim your disbursements on your Magistrates’ Court cases if your office is within a Designated Area?
15 – In what circumstances do you have to take the fee from the Designated Area Fee Table when your own office is in an undesignated area?
16 – What is your claim when dealing with an indictable-only offence in the Youth Court?
17 – Your client today pleaded guilty in the Magistrates’ Court and was committed for sentence – the Judge at the Crown Court is not happy with the mitigation and decides that a contested Newton hearing is required – what fee, if any, is claimable by the Solicitor in these circumstances in relation to the contested Newton hearing?
18 – Your client was ineligible for legal aid in the Magistrates’ Court and is considering entering guilty pleas today – it’s one of those cases where, in all likelihood, he is going to be committed to the Crown Court for sentence – what is his Crown Court legal aid position in this scenario?
19 – In what circumstances might it be beneficial to apply for Certificate for Counsel where you have in-house Counsel (or possibly a Solicitor with Higher Rights) and in what circumstances might it not be quite so beneficial?
20 – Can you be asked to take on a Court Appointment during your rota period as the Court Duty Solicitor?
It will be a 1- hour live and interactive session conducted via ZOOM. There is absolutely no requirement for any attendee to have purchased ZOOM. We just send you an email with a link the day before the actual presentation and you click on the link. It could not be simpler.
PLEASE LET US KNOW THE EMAIL ADDRESS OF THE PERSON TO WHOM WE SHOULD SEND THE INVOICE IF IT IS TO SOMEONE OTHER THAN YOURSELF
Invoices will be sent after the presentation and our normal terms of business apply i.e. PAYMENT WITHIN 14 DAYS – the cost for each person attending or purchasing the recordings is £90 (inclusive of VAT) – if you have attended the presentation there will be no additional charge for a copy of the recordings