The FAQs look to have been updated to cover the 'do I include disbursements or not?' question many have been asking. Full guidance here.
As a legal firm, do we need to include information on payments made on behalf of clients? 109. The statutory reporting requirement requires large businesses to report on payment practices and performance under their qualifying contracts. Whether particular payments need to be covered in the reports depends on whether the payments are for goods, services or intangible property under a qualifying contract. 110. If a large business makes any payments for client disbursements under a qualifying contract with the relevant supplier, then these should be reported on. If payments are made under qualifying contracts to which a large business is not a party, or payments are not made under a qualifying contract, then those payments would not be included in that firm’s reports. Any payments which are made by a large business for goods, or services under a qualifying contract, do need to be reported by that large business. Example 1: Legal Firm A is a reporting business. It pays court fees on behalf of a client however as Legal Firm A does not have a contract with the court, it does not report on this payment to the court. Example 2: Legal Firm A has a contract with a printing company, Company B. It prints a 1,000 page document on behalf of a client which it treats as a disbursement due to the high cost. The payment to Company B must be reported on as there is a contract between Legal Firm A, despite this payment being on behalf of a client.