News story

Crime news: changes to fees start 1 April 2016

A number of changes are being made to fees you can claim when billing for criminal work.

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We are making changes to fees which affect the amounts you can claim for criminal work.

Key among these changes from 1 April 2016 is a reversal of the litigator fee cut which was introduced in July 2015. This reversal will be effective for 12 months.

The announcement of this change was first made in a written ministerial statement to Parliament by the Lord Chancellor on 28 January 2016.

This set out a change in policy with regard to criminal legal aid contracting.

Areas of crime work affected

The fee cut reversal will be applied to criminal litigation services. This includes those advisory services set out in the Standard Crime Contract 2010 (excluding VHCCs) and magistrates’ court advocacy services.

The following units of work (including upper limits) will be affected:

  • criminal investigations
  • criminal proceedings
  • LGFS – Crown Court cases
  • appeals and reviews
  • prison law

The increased rates will apply to all determinations (representation orders) dated on or after 00.01am on 1 April 2016.

Crime Lower fee scheme change

On 1 April 2016 the CRM7 eForm will be amended to reflect a fee scheme change that came into force on 5 October 2015. The change reflects the fact that the category 3 fee is relevant only to a small and diminishing number of cases.

The eForm change will reject all Category 3 claims where the representation order date is on or after 1 April 2016.

To claim a category 3 fee from this date you will need to submit your bill using a paper CRM7 form.

Further information

Changes to criminal legal aid contracting - 28 January 2016 news story

Legal aid training website - guidance on the fee scheme changes

Published 22 March 2016