§ Mr. Harry Greenway
To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department, pursuant to his answer of 15 December,Official Report, column 637, what is the average interval between the award of (a) costs and (b) expedited costs, including tax costs, and their payment in (i) the inner London criminal court, (ii) outer London courts and (iii) other courts.
Mr. John M. Taylor
No information is available about the average interval between the award and payment of costs in civil or criminal proceedings. It could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
However, the following information on the taxing and payment of costs in criminal proceedings may be helpful:
The Crown Court is responsible for the payment of defence costs from the legal aid fund in respect of proceedings in that court if the defendant has been granted a legal aid certificate, or from central funds if a privately represented defendant is acquitted on any count in the indictment and the judge orders the award of a defendant's costs order. The Legal Aid Board is responsible for legal aid costs incurred in respect of magistrates courts proceedings.
Where costs are to be paid from the legal aid fund or central funds by the Crown Court, legal representatives are required to submit their claims to the court within three months of the conclusion of proceedings, although that period may be extended upon reasonable request. An officer of the Crown Court is then required to consider the claim and allow such sums as will provide reasonable remuneration in respect of work reasonably done.
Targets have been set to ensure payments are made within a reasonable time. Where a practitioner has claimed a standard fee, the target is for payment within five working days where the claim is lodged on the day that the case is concluded, and within 10 working days where it is not. For non-standard fees, where counsel's brief fee or the solicitor's total costs are less than £4,000, there is a target of no more than 30 per cent. of claims to be outstanding after four weeks from date of receipt. If counsel's brief fee or the solicitor's total costs are in excess of £4,000, these claims are considered by the central taxing teams which 67W were established in March 1991 to give a consistent approach to the determination of large claims from the legal aid fund or central funds. The targets set for these claims are that 75 per cent. of claims should be determined within three months of becoming ready to tax—that is to say, when all related claims have been lodged—and that all claims should be determined within six months of becoming ready to tax.
The tables provide the most recent figures for the performance against these targets:
Crown Court Performance for Standard Fees (Target: All to be paid within 5 to 10 working days) Counsel Per cent. Solicitors Per cent. Percentage paid in time—November 1993 Inner London sessions house 98.03 99.31 All London courts 88.7 93.6 All courts 88.84 89.6 January to November 1993 Inner London sessions house 98.3 97.9 All London courts 78.1 80.9 All courts 85.1 85.9
Performance for ex post facto fees below £4,000 (Target: No more than 30 per cent. outstanding after 4 weeks) Counsel Per cent. Solicitors Per cent. Percentage outstanding after four weeks—October 1993 Inner London sessions house 0 2.13 All London courts 19.39 12.91 All courts 25.3 26.7 Percentage outstanding after four weeks April—October 1993 Inner London sessions house 3.6 4.1 All London courts 35.3 30.4 All courts 26.8 28.2
Public body Member Date of appointment Retainer £ Council on Tribunals Lord Archer of Sandwell QC1 1 November 1992–31 October 1995 28,248 Lord Gibson-Watt MC1 May 1980—April 1986 17,290 Lord Wigoder QC February 1980—February 1986 2,960 Lord Tweedsmuir1 Retired April 1980 not known Lady Fulton Retired March 1980 nil Lord Mancroft TD Retired December 1979 not known Legal Aid Advisory Committee Lady Park of Monmouth as Chairman 1985–90 nil Lady Flather of Windsor and Maidenhead 1985–88 nil Advisory Council on Public Records Lord Skidelsky 29 March 1988–31 December 1993 nil Advisory Committee on Legal Education and Conduct Lord Griffiths MC 16 October 1990 (appt. as chair-man announced)—30 September 1993 nil Advisory Committee on Justices of the Peace in Northern Ireland (Fermanagh Division) Earl of Earn Member 1975 Chairman 1986 nil Advisory Committee on Justices of the Peace in Northern Ireland (Tyrone Division) Duke of Abercom Chairman 1987 nil 1 Denotes chairmanship as well as membership.
§ Mr. Meale
To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will list the names of all former British representative members in the European Parliament who since 1979 have been appointed to68W
Performance for ex post facto fees over £4,000 (Target: 75 per cent. determined within three months and 100 per cent. determined within six months of becoming ready to tax) Circuit Percentage taxed within three months Percent. Percentage taxed within six months Percent. November 1993 South Eastern 50 100 Midland and Oxford 51 100 Northern 97 100 North Eastern 99 100 Wales and Chester 65 97 Western 80 100