CCMS: online civil legal aid processing and contingency

Guidance including contingency arrangements for our online system for civil and family certificated legal aid work.

Applies to England and Wales

What is the Client and Cost Management System (CCMS)?

CCMS is an online system for civil and family legal aid providers and others assigned to work on their cases, e.g. advocates, clerks and costs lawyers.

CCMS covers the whole process for certificated civil and family legal aid work, from submitting legal aid applications to paying bills.

Guidance for updating your browser

Update your browser to gain access to the upgraded version of CCMS.

You can download and install the latest version of the web browser to enable you to get the best experience of using the latest upgrade of CCMS.

  • Chrome (available for Windows, Apple, Android and Linux)
  • Firefox (available for Windows, Apple, Android and Linux)
  • Internet explorer (available for Windows)
  • Safari (available for Apple)

Still having problems?

If you’ve recently updated your browser but are still having problems viewing our site, a few things might have happened. First, your update may have failed. Try starting the process again and you should soon be able to tell whether this is what happened. Second, if you decided to install a different browser instead of updating your current one - for example, downloading Chrome when you current use internet explorer - you might still be using the old browser by accident. Try setting your new browser as ‘default’ so you don’t keep accidentally using the old one.

CCMS contingency arrangements

In the event of a widespread CCMS outage the LAA will make a decision on invoking contingency arrangements for users following an outage being confirmed by us. We aim to communicate contingency arrangements for urgent work as soon as possible following a confirmed outage and after 24 hours where resolution of the outage is not expected imminently. This communication will be sent directly to the principal contract holder of your firm.

Users experiencing intermittent issues are advised to contact us directly to discuss their issue. Appropriate contingency arrangements will be agreed based on the individual circumstances of a case.

Contingency arrangements for urgent applications

We will aim to write to your firm as soon as possible following a confirmed outage to advise that:

  • contingency arrangements will only be available where delegated functions cannot be used
  • providers must telephone the Customer Service team on 0300 200 202 to obtain a contingency reference number
  • requests for paper contingency will be determined on a case by case basis
  • urgency will be defined as those needing to materially progress their case in the next 48 hours
  • we will not require a signature for fresh applications
  • we will not require forms to be sent to the LAA within 5 days of delegated functions being used
  • we will provide users with a contingency reference number with an approved request
  • complete and return the National Contingency Proforma National Contingency Proforma (PDF, 91 KB, 1 page) along with other relevant information as advised by the Customer Services team when submitting a contingency application

Contingency arrangements after 24 hours of outage

If an outage continues for more than a 24 hour period and where we have taken the decision to invoke full contingency, we will write to your firm to confirm that:

  • users will be advised to download the relevant application form from GOV.UK
  • users should submit the application along with the relevant supporting documents and where possible a copy of the Legal Aid Certificate and e-mail all information to
  • users must ensure the header and first line of the email says, ‘Contingency Application’ and provides the contingency reference number

Contingency arrangements for making civil claims

We are committed to working with you to ensure payments can still be made each week during contingency.

To upload a civil claim during CCMS contingency providers and counsel should fill in the Contingency Spreadsheet based on your expected weekly payments under CCMS and submit to LAA.

Completed sheets should be submitted to by 12pm on Mondays to make the payment run on the following Wednesday.

We will verify the payments and then issue them as a credit payment. When CCMS is up and running again, you will be able to submit the proper claims. These will offset against the credit figure.

We will allow you 3 times the length of the CCMS outage, once it is up and running, to submit your claims.

Payment during June 2020 contingency

Providers who intended to submit claims between 25 June and 1 July should use the contingency process.

We will run this process as a weekly exercise for all providers until CCMS is operational again.

Further contact

Users are advised to contact our Customer Service Team on 0300 200 2020 to discuss their matter in the event of any queries.

More information

Information about CCMS

The site contains information for users of CCMS such as quick guides and training resources.

Published 22 September 2014
Last updated 22 November 2022 + show all updates
  1. Edited national contingency proforma pdf to include a line on ECCT within table at top of page

  2. Additional of the National Contingency Proforma and amendments to the bullet point list.

  3. Amended timing in contingency arrangements section.

  4. Broken link removed.

  5. Slight minor change to the text in Payment during June 2020 contingency.

  6. Clarification that this page includes CCMS contingency guidance

  7. Contingency process for making civil claims added.

  8. Updated guidance on contingency process.

  9. Guidance on how to update your browser published.

  10. Further waiver of mandatory electronic working added and next steps for CCMS text changed

  11. Information added about Contract Notice for CCMS working.

  12. First published.