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According to the Part 8 of the Legal Profession Act you have to serve the lawyer with a copy of the appointment at least 5 days before the appointment date.
Here is a link to that Part of the Act:
You should call the court to confirm.
You have to get the appointment within one year of the bill being rendered unless you have paid it and if you did pay it then you have to get the appointment within 3 months of paying the bill or whichever comes first.