Legal Aid Payment Advisory Panel minutes: September 2019

Minutes from the fourth meeting of Legal Aid Payment Advisory Panel, held on 6 September 2019.

Attendees and apologies

In attendance

  • Neil Rennick, Chair 
  • Ruth Innes QC, Faculty of Advocates
  • Ian Moir, Law Society of Scotland 
  • Paul Brown, Scottish Association of Law Centres 
  • Colin Lancaster, Scottish Legal Aid Board
  • Raymond McMenamin, Scottish Legal Aid Board 
  • Gillian Fyfe, Citizens Advice Scotland
  • Professor Graeme Roy, University of Strathclyde
  • Mark Thorley, Law Society of Scotland
  • Ross Yuill, Society of Solicitor Advocates


  • Professor Frank Stephen, University of Manchester
  • Kieran Burke, Bill Team Leader, Access to Justice
  • Ronald Renucci QC, Faculty of Advocates

Scottish Government officials

  • Denise Swanson, Head of Access to Justice 
  • Steven Ing, Economic Advisor, Justice Analytical Services
  • Jill Stephen Poller, Legal Aid Policy Officer, Access to Justice

Items and actions


Neil Rennick opened the meeting and welcomed the members to the panel. 

The panel reflected on the information that had been provided over the previous three meetings. It was agreed that there isn’t a single legal aid payment model in any jurisdiction that works perfectly and would fit the requirements of Scottish legal aid.  The jurisdictions that had been discussed so far are facing similar challenges to that of Scotland.

The presentations on General Practice and Dentist payment structures suggested that having multiple methods of payment can provide the flexibility to pay for a range of services to achieve different objectives.  It was noted that this can come with a large administrative burden and complex funding models. 

Agenda item 1

Legal Aid Expenditure: Recent trends and discussion by Steven Ing, Economic Advisor, Scottish Government

The Legal Aid Expenditure – Recent Trends and Discussion paper sets out evidence on recent trends in Legal Aid in Scotland and place the evidence in a wider context. 

Group discussion

The panel discussed the benefits of bringing in an external challenge to give further analytical feedback to the discussions. It was agreed that Professor Mike Danson would be invited to attend future meetings. 

The panel agreed the following topics would be discussed in future meetings:

  • contracting
  • grant funding
  • The Faculty of Advocates 
  • bonus and differential reward
  • specialisation 

Priorities for next meeting

The panel will focus on the benefits and implications of contracting.

Next meeting:

Friday 4 October 2019.

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