News story

Crime news: online billing for advocates starts 25 January 2016

Crime Billing Online to launch on Midland Bar Circuit for Advocates’ Graduated Fee Scheme.

National rollout for online billing under the Advocates Graduated Fee Scheme (AGFS) is to begin on 25 January 2016 on the Midland Bar Circuit.

The online application to make this possible has been piloted by advocates and solicitors since October 2015 and is a key part of our Crime Change Programme.

More than 550 AGFS bill have been successfully submitted for processing. Feedback about the application has been used to develop the system.

What happens next?

Chambers and solicitors’ firms in the Midland Circuit area will be contacted by their contract managers. They will be given information on:

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

Benefits of online billing

  • 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

Future rollout

This will be based on the Bar Circuits which divide England and Wales into six areas and is expected to conclude by Summer 2016. Further information will be made available regarding the remaining Circuits and rollout schedule in due course.

Throughout rollout the Crime Billing Online project will continue to take on board user feedback.

This will help the project to make further refinements to the system in partnership with Ministry of Justice Digital Services.

Further information

Criminal legal aid processing: applications and digital systems – to find out more about the Crime Change Programme

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