Criminal legal aid processing: applications and digital systems
Use digital systems to simplify criminal legal aid processing: find forms for LAA criminal legal aid applications and eForms information.
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Applications for Criminal Legal Aid in England and Wales now processed by LAA
Between June 2014 and June 2015 the responsibility for processing criminal legal aid applications transferred from HMCTS to the LAA.
Any new application for criminal legal aid relating to a case being heard in England and Wales needs to be made using either the CRM14 eForm or the paper forms and submitted to the Criminal Applications Team.
Where to send your application?
The criminal applications teams are based in Birmingham, Liverpool and Nottingham. The office you need to send an application made using a paper form will depend on your location.
The criminal applications team court list sets out which CAT you need to send your application to by court.
The address details for where to send your application can be found in the guidance on changes to processing criminal legal aid applications which is available to download in the documents section.
The full roll out of the CRM14 eForm began in October 2014 and concluded on 22 June 2015. Applications can now be made online throughout England and Wales.
We’ll set out in all new contracts that you must make online applications, including the use of the eForm CRM14.
Online application outcomes
The outcomes of electronic processing include:
- date-stamped applications
- reduced volume of rejects and resubmissions
- links with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to provide instant indication of client eligibility
- electronic notifications
- more secure transfer of case and client information
- familiar software and tools
- money savings on paper processes and postage
Some ancillary processes cannot be applied for using the eForms portal. These are:
- appeal against the refusal of the interest of justice test
- withdrawal of legal aid
- adding charges to an existing rep order
The forms for these applications are available on Crime eForms page.
Crime billing online and claims for Crown Court Defence
What is Crime Billing Online?
The Crime Billing Online (CBO) project is part of LAA Crime Change Programme – our aim is to modernise the processing of criminal legal aid. In partnership with MOJ Digital Services, CBO project has developed an online billing application, claims for Crown Court Defence (CCD).
The CBO project’s goals are to enable all advocates, litigators and support staff to submit all Advocate Graduated Fee Scheme (AGFS) and Litigator Graduated Fee Scheme (LGFS) bills online.
What is happening now?
The CCD application, now allows all AGFS and LGFS bills to be submitted directly to LAA electronically.
CCD has been piloted amongst a group of barristers’ chambers and solicitors’ firms since October 2015 and has been rolled out nationally since January 2016. CCD is now available nationwide under both the Advocates’ and Litigators’ Fee Schemes as of 15 August 2016.
For further information on how to gain access to the billing application, please refer to the CCD FAQs at the top of the page or please contact the project team at firstname.lastname@example.org
What are the benefits of CCD?
Benefits for advocates and support staff include:
- Submit AGFS and LGFS bills (including evidence submission) directly to LAA online
- Immediate bills submission; eradicating postal delays
- Reduced postage and printing costs
- Online messaging and instant notifications from the processing teams
- No need for a ‘wet’ signature