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30 APR 2007

Carter Goes Live On LEX

by Nick Hartwell

All Criminal Defence Cases funded under a representation order granted on or after 30th April 2007 must be managed in accordance with the provisions of the Revised Advocacy and Graduated Fee Scheme (RAGFS or Carter).

Clerks will notice some fundamental differences between this and previous Graduated Fee revisions. Having software capable of coping with the changes is important in ensuring you receive payment for all work done and so that you do not fall foul of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs.

One claim per case

Under RAGFS (Carter) only one claim may be made to the court for all work undertaken on any case. This means that a single barrister (The Instructed Advocate) will be responsible for claiming fees on behalf of his/her learned friends, but also for ensuring that they are paid any monies to which they are entitled once he receives payment from the Court. The LEX portal allows case information to be exchanged quickly and effortlessly with other chambers.

Managing External Advocates

Naturally clerks will try their utmost to retain all work in Chambers but inevitably, there will be occasions when this is simply not possible. When these situations arise there is little option but to enlist the assistance of a barrister from another Chambers who happens to be in the right court at the right time. LEX tracks any external advocates added to a case as though they were a member of chambers making billing simple.

Case fee depletion

Without a degree in Mathematics, maybe you're wondering how you and your clerking team will cope with calculating case fee depletion. Chambers using LEX don't have this worry.

Distributing payments

Having successfully claimed and received payments for work done, you have the responsibility to distribute the money between the barristers who have worked on the case. The relationship between barristers working on a case is that of contractor and sub-contractor. In this relationship, contractors will require invoices before they can pay the sub-contractors' bill. Failure to have an adequate paper trail to support financial transactions can result in HMRC investigations. LEX will raise these bills on behalf of the sub-contractors' so you can rest assured that you have complied.

Deal with RAGFS NOW

If you have any questions regarding dealing with RAGFS, please contact one of our experts who will talk to you about best practice.

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