The recent R3 Scotland newsletter highlighted some concerns about the time taken for some court reporters to respond, with a request for evidence if appropriate.
We are aware that not all users of court reporters are based in Scotland, and that not everyone is a member of R3. Therefore, if you are experiencing these delays and would like to pass on your concerns, please contact Penny McCoull at firstname.lastname@example.org
Item from R3 Scotland Newsletter – Summer 2019
Following concerns raised by committee members about instances where they had experienced delays in receiving reports back from court-appointed reporters, I raised this matter with both the R3 Smaller Practices Group Committee and the Scottish Technical Committee. I have received confirmation that ICAS is aware of the issue and is willing to contact the IPs concerned directly. If any members wish to provide details of specific cases where undue delay has been experienced in obtaining authorisation for their own fees and approval of a scheme of division, can they please email me in confidence (email@example.com) or contact David Menzies at ICAS (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The issues can be summarised as:
- The court report system normally works very well, as IPs are all too aware that their colleagues are waiting for approval of their fees and authorisation of a scheme of division to carry out our main function, which is to return funds to creditors.
- The system breaks down where some IPs, whether through pressure of their own workload, absence from work or some other reason, are not attending to the audit of files delivered to them in a timely manner. The regulations state that the audit should be carried out within six weeks of the end of the accounting period, which itself is dependent on the appointed IP preparing their accounts within two weeks of the end of the accounting period.
- RPBs are now looking at court reports carried out by their members as part of the monitoring visit. R3 members are encouraged to advise us of any specific instances where they have waited a longer time than is reasonable for the reporter to submit their report. As everyone’s idea of timescales is subjective, notifications should be made in confidence to R3 for consideration. Members will be notified in due course of the follow-up action taken.
- Informal discussions with the Courts are being advanced by R3 STC members. However, in order to assess the extent of the issue, the Committee calls for members to provide evidence of their experiences (anonymised if desired), on delays by appointed reporters and/or courts in the approval process.