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Appeal Committee Ruling 1 of 2024 – R v [REDACTED]


Advocate Fee Appeals Committee


1. The purpose of the Advocate Fee Appeals Committee (the Committee) is to resolve disputes by reference to published CPS fee schemes. The decision of the Committee is based solely on what it considers to be the correct interpretation of those fee schemes. The Committee does not have the remit to apply any discretion.

2. This case falls to be remunerated under the CPS Graduated Fee Scheme F (GFS). This case concerns the prosecution of R-v- [REDACTED] and relates to the offences of Murder & Assisting an Offender.

Issue in appeal

3. The issue in this appeal concerns whether two main hearing fees should be paid.  The 30th May 2023 paid as a cracked trial as well as an effective trial starting on 31st May.

Counsel’s position

4. Counsel stated that after defendant [REDACTED] pleaded guilty on 30th May 2023, the case was no longer trial ready as the bundles, documentation, as well as the opening, all needed to be adjusted to be trial ready and the empanelment process had not begun. Hours were taken in the remainder of the day on 30th May and the following day 31st May to review and amend the jury bundles and to re-cast the way the Prosecution opened the case. The effective trial was eventually opened on 1st June 2023.

CPS position

5. The CPS maintained the work completed on 30th and 31st May 2023 amounted to meaningful progress in a trial that was listed for trial. This means the trial process began on 30th May 2023, in accordance with paragraph 124 of the Manual of Guidance which states:

The definition of a trial includes all days of the trial process, including days prior to swearing the jury. Days prior to the swearing the jury will be included as trial days provided:

  • the case was listed 'for trial.’
  • the days resulted in meaningful progress, either in court or where the parties have been given time, or taken time, to undertake work out of court.
  • it led to a jury being sworn and evidence called, with the same advocate, within 7 calendar days, and details of the meaningful progress are recorded on the Hearing Record Sheet.


6. The Committee convened on 30th January 2024 to determine this appeal and considered the following documents before arriving at their decision:

  • GFS Manual of Guidance scheme F
  • Taxation notes from Counsel
  • Final CPS written reasons


7. Having considered the matter carefully, the Committee concluded that:

a) Paragraph 124 of the Manual of Guidance applies. The Manual of Guidance states that a trial includes all days of the trial process, including all days prior to the swearing of the jury. This is particularly the case where those days result in meaningful progress being made in the case, either in court or out of court. It is not necessary to empanel a jury to make meaningful progress.

b) Paragraphs 84 – 88 of the Manual of Guidance are also relevant. Paragraph 85 states the general principle inherent in the GFS scheme, that if there is more than one main hearing type occurring in a hearing, the advocate has to elect one of those hearing types to be the principal hearing. Paragraph 88 states that where more than one defendant is listed for trial, and that meaningful progress is made in respect of at least one defendant thus starting the trial process, any cracked trial main hearing during the trial period in respect of any co-defendant will be deemed to have occurred concurrently. Accordingly, the cracked trial main hearing and the cracked trial daily fee will not be paid separately.

c) Further, Paragraph 128 of the Manual of Guidance states that once a trial has started, either by there being meaningful progress or the jury being sworn and evidence being called or being read before a jury, a case cannot attract a cracked trial fee in any circumstances.

d) The interpretation of the Manual of Guidance contended for by counsel would require express and clear wording. There is none.

8. Accordingly, the Committee dismissed the appeal.

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