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Faculty sees in the year with new appeals service

News / date posted 03/01/2013

The Faculty of Advocates Is starting the year with a new "all-in appeals" service aimed at easing the burden of criminal defence solicitors throughout the country.

From Monday, 6 January, as well as providing advocates to appear at conviction, sentence and bail appeal hearings in Edinburgh, the Faculty will also offer full administrative back-up, handling all the behind-the-scenes tasks which can be so tiresome and time-consuming for out of town agents.

Solicitors without an Edinburgh office or correspondent are to be assisted with all necessary pre-hearing communications with the Justiciary Office and the Crown Office Appeals Unit, and can be confident that they are in safe hands because the service is led by Donna Foster.

She is a vastly-experienced paralegal who has managed appeals before the Court of Criminal Appeal and Justiciary Appeal Court in Edinburgh, as well as the UK Supreme Court in London.

In addition to managing appeals and arranging counsel to appear, the service is also geared to providing, where required, in-court cover for local solicitors at both appeal and first instance hearings.

Brian McConnachie, QC, chair of the Faculty of Advocates Criminal Bar Association, said: "We are hopeful that this innovation will be of significant benefit to the local solicitor. The administrative side is being looked after by a very experienced Appeal Court paralegal with all the support Faculty can offer.

"This gives the solicitor and the appellant access to the largest selection of experienced Appeal Court practitioners in Scotland."

In rendering the service, Donna Foster acts as the agent of the instructing solicitor, and the instructing solicitor is entitled to fee as normal for the work that is done. Faculty Services Ltd charges for work done at 50 per cent of the rates provided by the Scottish Legal Aid Board.

A roster of experienced counsel is to be used in the service, but instructing solicitors retain the right to select counsel for any particular appeal, whether or not that counsel is on the roster.

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The Faculty of Advocates
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