News story

Crime news: ‘Fastrak’ court costs claims scheme to be mandatory

‘Fastrak’ scheme operated by National Taxing Team mandatory from 1 October 2015.

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The ‘Fastrak’ scheme for claiming costs out of central funds for criminal court work is to be made mandatory from 1 October 2015.

Claims which qualify for the ‘Fastrak’ scheme operated by the National Taxing Team (NTT) should already be made using this process whenever possible.

But it is important to note that any qualifying claim received on or after 1 October 2015 which does not use ‘Fastrak’ will be returned.

Claim forms covered by the NTT ‘Fastrak’ scheme are available to download on GOV.UK. These include:

  • Defence Costs Order (DCO) claims

This is for magistrates’ court cases only where the claim is for profit costs of £2,000 or less. It should not be used for costs of a court appointee.

You need to download and submit form 5911 i.e. ‘application for costs from central funds’ – see link below.

It is important to complete the checklist of documents at the end of the form. Rates to be claimed are post Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012.

  • Litigators Proceeds of Crime Act claims

This is where the amount claimed is for profit costs of £2,000 or less. You need to download and submit claim form 5144 i.e. ‘solicitor’s claim for costs legal aid in criminal and care proceedings (costs) regulations 1989’ – see link below.

The ‘litigator claim (confiscation proceedings) required declaration’ must also be completed. This is otherwise known as the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) declaration sheet.

Importance of ‘Fastrak’ declaration

You must remember to enclose the relevant ‘Fastrak’ checklist/declaration and this should be presented as the top document when submitting your claim.

All documents listed in the checklist/declaration must be included. If any are missing your claim will be returned.

Timescale

We aim to process ‘Fastrak’ claims within a month of receipt.

Do not send your file

You should not send your file. However, the determining officer assessing your claim reserves the right to call for your full file of papers if this is seen as necessary.

Your file may also be requested if required for audit by the Legal Aid Agency audit team.

Further information

Claim back costs from cases in the criminal courts – to download claim forms 5911, 5144 and accompanying documents

Published 2 September 2015