Re Precognitions taken at consultations

 

Jul 22, 2020

The Auditor has reviewed his general approach to solicitors’ charges for precognitions taken at consultations. The relevant provisions in the Table of Fees are paragraph 5 in Part V and paragraph 1(a) in Part VA. Both refer to “Taking and drawing precognitions, per sheet……..”.

The Auditor considers that that covers the time taken and the work involved in preparing to take the precognition (eg, identifying the questions to be asked of the person being precognosced), asking the questions, noting the answers and then framing the precognition itself. When a precognition is taken at a consultation, there is clearly duplication between the time element of the precognition fee and the fee for attending the consultation.

The Auditor considers that that duplication falls to be reflected in a 50% abatement to the stated precognition fee. In addition, when a precognition is taken at a consultation, it will normally be Counsel who prepares to take the precognition and asks the questions. The role of the solicitor is limited to noting the answers to the questions and then framing the precognition.

The Auditor considers that that restricted role justifies a further abatement of 25% to the stated precognition fee. Accordingly, the charge which the Auditor will normally allow for a precognition taken at a consultation will be 25% of the stated precognition fee. 21 June 2011