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COPFS

Freelance Lawyers from Bar - fee notes

Freedom of information: Freelance Lawyers from Bar - fee notes

8 October 2013

Thank you for your request dated 10 September 2013, under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) for the following information:

"Can you tell me how many lawyers were paid over the three year period. And who was paid the most of same period?"

This followed on from your earlier request of 31 July, in which you had requested the following information:

"I am writing to request information under the Freedom of Information Act (Scotland) 2002. In order to assist you with this request, I am outlining my query as specifically as possible.

I would like to know how much it has cost the taxpayer to hire freelance lawyers from the bar each year - please break down for the last three years

Please name the lawyers that have been hired in the last three years and tell us how much each lawyer has been paid for each prosecution

I would also like to know which lawyer earned the most money in total in the last three years."

In relation to your request of 31 July, you received a response on 6 September, a copy of which is enclosed for your information. You then reframed your request as detailed at the second paragraph of this letter.

Where you refer to 'lawyers' in your reframed request we understand that to refer to your previous request about 'freelance lawyers from the bar'. As before, we take your request to be one for information about lawyers acting for the Crown from time to time in respect of presenting prosecution cases and who are entitled to practise at the bar of the Supreme Courts of Scotland, including the High Court, as that is what is commonly referred to as 'the bar'. Such lawyers are members of the Faculty of Advocates or practise as solicitor-advocates and have rights of audience before Scotland's Supreme Courts.

Appearances on behalf of the Crown which require to be conducted by a lawyer with rights of audience before Scotland's Supreme Courts are conducted by Advocate Deputes who are appointed to act as Crown Counsel on behalf of the Lord Advocate. The full-time Crown Counsel cadre comprises Senior and Trial ADs who serve for an agreed fixed term which may be extended by the Lord Advocate. These Advocate Deputes are dedicated Crown Counsel.

In addition to these dedicated Crown Counsel, ad hoc Advocate Deputes are called on from time to time to undertake specific cases or pieces of work. The work of these Ad Hoc Advocate Deputes falls within the terms of your request.

We do hold some information which falls within the terms of your request of 10 September 2013.

In the period from 11 October 2012 – 24 September 2013 fee notes were submitted in respect of 43 separate advocates and were paid by COPFS.

In the period from 11 October 2012 to 24 September 2013, the advocate who was paid the highest total fees by COPFS in respect of fee notes dated during that period was Dorothy Bain Q.C.