Payment for the services of a lawyer should be made for each subject of the FLA

Advocacy
16:23 Sat 08.06.24 175 Reviews
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Numerous appeals of lawyers to the Ukrainian National Bar Association show that there is a problem of arbitrary interpretation of the rules on payment for services and reimbursement of lawyers' expenses by the centers for providing free secondary legal aid.

One of them was considered at the meeting of the Bar Council of Ukraine, which is taking place on June 7-8 in Zakarpattia.

A lawyer who received two instructions from the regional center of free legal aid to provide legal aid to two detainees and fulfilled them properly was paid only for the work on one of the instructions.

The officials motivated this decision by the fact that the assistance was provided in one place (a unit of the National Police) at one time, so payment for visits under the second assignment would be considered a double payment and misuse of budget funds.

Oksana Kadenko, a member of the BCU from Khmelnytsky region, who spoke on this issue, pointed out that according to the agreement concluded between the lawyer and the regional center, the lawyer's services were to be paid for on the basis of contracts depending on the scope, time and place of service provision separately for each subject of the right to free secondary legal aid.

At the same time, neither the Procedure for Payment for Services and Reimbursement of Expenses of Attorneys Providing Free Secondary Legal Aid nor the Methodology for Calculating the Amount of Attorneys' Remuneration (approved by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine on September 17, 2017, No. 465) prohibit paying for the services of an attorney in full for each individual assignment.

Therefore, the regional center not only violates its contractual obligations, but also devalues the work of a lawyer, allows fraud and arbitrariness in paying for his services, O. Kadenko is convinced.

To solve the problem, she proposed to initiate amendments to the Cabinet of Ministers' Resolution No. 465, enshrining the rule that the indicators for payment for services provided by a lawyer are determined separately for each assignment.

Each case of provision of legal aid shall be subject to independent payment in full, regardless of the fulfillment by the advocate of other assignments. If a lawyer provides legal aid to several detainees (suspects, accused, victims, witnesses) in one criminal proceeding, the lawyer's services for providing free secondary legal aid must be paid in full separately for each subject of the right to free legal aid.

Members of the Bar Council of Ukraine supported this initiative.

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