News story

Crime news: national rollout for online advocates’ billing

Online billing for advocates to launch in the South East Circuit.

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National rollout for online billing under the Advocates’ Graduated Fee Scheme (AGFS) will be completed shortly when the South East Circuit comes on board.

This will be done in 2 phases:

  • London area – 18 April
  • Rest of the South East – 9 May

The online billing application has already been made available to advocates on the following circuits:

  • Midlands
  • Northern
  • North East
  • Western
  • Wales and Chester

If you are based in any of these areas you are able to sign up to submit your AGFS bills online through the Crown Court Defence (CCD) application.

You just need to follow the link below to the Crime Billing Online FAQs for instructions on how to gain access.

What happens next?

If you based in the South East Circuit, you will be contacted by your contract managers shortly.

They will give you information on:

  • making claims for Crown Court defence work using the online application
  • details of support available

You can find out more information, including a Crime Billing Online FAQ document, on GOV.UK’s legal aid pages – see link below.

Benefits of online billing with CCD

  • simplifies AGFS billing, including evidence submissions
  • avoids postal delays
  • reduced postage and printing costs
  • online messaging and instant notifications from processing teams
  • ‘wet signatures’ no longer needed

Next Steps

LAA and MOJ Digital Services have also started IT development to enable litigators to submit LGFS claims online through the CCD application. We will provide more information about this shortly.

Further information

Criminal legal aid processing: applications and digital systems – to find out more about crime change and download a ‘Crime Billing Online FAQ’ document

crowncourtdefence@legalaid.gsi.gov.uk – for email enquiries about the project

Published 13 April 2016