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Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

07 NOV 2013

MoJ issues guidelines for family advocacy scheme travel expense claims

Jonathan Cailes

Major Works Manager

@JPFamilyLaw

MoJ issues guidelines for family advocacy scheme travel expense claims

The MoJ has issued guidelines to help you to make successful travel expense claims under the family advocacy scheme.

Travel of 10 miles or more>

Travel expense claims are normally only available when journeys are more than 10 miles from the court, in which case you can justify counsel travelling using one of the following grounds (you must provide a full explanation on the form):

1. No local bar - This applies where there are no local chambers or the number of chambers is small. The following details must be provided on the form:

  • explain there is no local bar
  • tell us the location of the most local bar
  • explain why counsel is required

2. Continuity - Using counsel - but not chambers - familiar with the case or client may be reasonable justification for travel provided the nature of the hearing requires it. This must be justified.

3. Specialist knowledge - A particular counsel may be instructed owing to specialist knowledge or skill in a specific field of law. This needs to be justified.

4. Lack of available counsel - Where the instructing solicitor is unable to find a suitable local counsel it may be reasonable to instruct counsel from further afield. This needs to be justified on the claim form and the closest available counsel instructed.

Details of expenses

  • Mileage is paid at 45p a mile
  • Train fares are second class
  • Disbursements of £20 or more (including VAT) must be supported by a voucher
  • Hotel expenses and taxi fares must be justified on the claim form

Travel of 10 miles or less

Local travel expenses are normally not allowed. The definition of 'local' is left to the discretion of the court. In general, 'local' is taken to mean within a 10-mile radius of the court.

The details are set out in Practice Direction 47 (as amended) accompanying the Civil Procedure Rules 1998.

Your travel costs must be justified on the CIV Claim 5a (available below).

For more information, go to http://www.justice.gov.uk/legal-aid/newslatest-updates/civil-news/travel-expenses-for-family-advocacy-work

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