SCCO Ref: 277/10
ON APPEAL FROM REDETERMINATION
CROWN COURT AT SWANSEA
Clifford's Inn, Fetter Lane
London, EC4A 1DQ
B e f o r e :
|REGINA v GRIFFITHS|
Crown Copyright ©
APPEAL PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH 21 OF SCHEDULE 1 OF THE CRIMINAL DEFENCE SERVICE (FUNDING) ORDER 2001 / ARTICLE 30 OF THE CRIMINAL DEFENCE SERVICE (FUNDING) ORDER 2007
The appeal has been successful for the reasons set out below.
The appropriate additional payment, to which should be added the sum of £750 (exclusive of VAT) for costs and the £100 paid on appeal, should accordingly be made to the Applicant.
Paragraph 12 clearly says that the fee is payable in respect of a sentencing hearing.
In this case the Court records clearly show that, despite there being multiple Court Reference numbers, there was only one sentencing hearing, so only one fee is payable. The Funding Order has not changed in respect of Paragraph 12 since January 2008. My view is, therefore, that in all cases with a representation order granted after 14 January 2008, if there was only one hearing then there is only one fee.
In this Schedule –
"case" means proceedings in the Crown Court against any one assisted person –
(b) arising out of … a single committal for sentence, whether on one or more charges …
The fee payable to a litigator instructed in –
(c) a sentencing hearing following a committal for sentence to the Crown Court
is that set out in the table following paragraph 14.
13. The table following paragraph 14 entitles a litigator to a fee of £212.77 net "per proceedings". "Proceedings" is not defined in the Funding Order. However it is clear that "proceedings" may involve more than one defendant, in distinction to the definition of "case": see for example the definition of "related proceedings" in article 2 and provisions such as paragraph 17 of schedule 2 to which I refer below.
14. It seems to me that the combined effect of paragraph 12 and the table following paragraph 14 is that where a solicitor is "instructed in … a sentencing hearing following a committal for sentence to the Crown Court" [para 12] the "fee payable" [para 12 and the table] is "£212.77 per proceedings" [the table]. "Proceedings" can involve more than one defendant and if there is only one "proceedings" only one fee will be payable however many defendants are represented by the solicitor.
15. That would appear to be consistent with the scheme of schedule 2 which generally allows one fee where a litigator represents more than one defendant but allows an uplift for representing additional defendants. However no uplift is prescribed in relation to the hearings listed in paragraph 12. Had it been intended that there should be an uplift for representing more than one defendant on a sentencing hearing following committal for sentence, provision could easily have been made for that; perhaps along similar lines to paragraph 17 which provides for uplifts "where a litigator represents more than one assisted person in [sent or transferred] proceedings" which are discontinued.
16. The interpretation that I have suggested would also seem to be consistent with the use in the table of the word "proceedings". Had it been intended that a separate fee would be payable for each defendant committed for sentence, the table could have provided for a fee payable per "case" (with the limited definition of that word provided by paragraph 1 of schedule 2).
17. As it would appear that these 2 defendants were dealt with at the Crown Court together at one hearing with the same case number, the solicitor instructed on the sentencing hearing is entitled to only one fee for those "proceedings". Accordingly the appeal is dismissed.
The use of the word single in paragraph 14(1) of Schedule 2 of the Funding Order is following paragraph 1 of the Funding Order where the LGFS applies to proceedings against one person arising out of a single alleged breach of an order. It therefore refers to each and every breach so if a person committed two breaches of an order at the same time, paragraph 14 applies separately to each breach.
Law. A legal action or process; any act done by authority of a court of law; a step taken by either party in a legal case. Freq. in pl. (OED online ed.)