Claim back costs from cases in the criminal courts

Use the National Taxing Team to assess and recover costs in criminal proceedings.


From 1 September 2016 the National Taxing Team will be merging with the High Cost Crime unit and the new combined team will be called the Criminal Cases Unit. As part of this merger the Birmingham office of the National Taxing Team has now closed; all claims and correspondence should be sent to our Manchester office and their contact details can be found in the section Where To Send Claims.

The National Taxing Team (NTT) decides on claims for costs incurred in the criminal courts.

Claims are paid for by the taxpayer through the legal aid fund or out of central funds, or by the parties in court.

You must send claims to the NTT within 3 months of court proceedings ending.

NTT may reject claims or impose a penalty if you submit your claim late.

How to make litigator claims

To make claims for confiscation proceedings, fill in form 5144 and the declaration sheet.

Send a copy of the legal aid order and any amendments with your supporting documents. Do not send any documents relating to the costs retainer.

How to make advocate claims

To make claims for appeals from magistrates’ courts, committals and breaches of Crown Court orders, fill in form 5145.

To make claims for confiscation proceedings, fill in this claim form.

Send a copy of the Representation Order and a taxing note along with your supporting documents.

Claims paid out of central funds

NTT assesses costs incurred in the Crown Court and magistrates’ court in claims from:

  • an acquitted defendant who has a costs order from the court

  • a private prosecutor who has a costs order from the court

  • an advocate appointed by the court to cross-examine a vulnerable witness in the defendant’s interests

How to claim back costs

Fill in the appropriate form and submit it with your supporting documents.

Legal professional Costs incurred in Form
solicitor magistrates’ court form 5911 (and continuation form 5912 if needed)
solicitor magistrates’ court and Crown Court form 5911a (and continuation form 5912a if needed)
barrister (direct access) magistrates’ court form 5913
barrister (direct access) magistrates’ court and Crown Court form 5913a

Guidance on claiming defence costs (in proceedings starting on after 1 October 2012)

Rates for defence costs are capped by the Lord Chancellor.

For costs incurred in magistrates’ courts or Crown Court appeals, check legal costs guide 1 (MS Word Document, 124KB) .

If you’re claiming for costs incurred in the Crown Court and legal aid was refused after 27 January 2014, check legal costs guide 2 (MS Word Document, 130KB) .

Personal expenses

You can only claim personal expenses as part of a defendants’ costs order. Only qualified lawyers can claim for hours worked or time spent preparing a case.

If the case was heard in a magistrates’ court, claim from the court.

If the case was heard in a Crown Court, add your expenses to the claim for legal costs submitted to the NTT.

How to claim costs for a private prosecutor or court appointee

Claimants for private prosecution costs should note that NTT determining officers have now been directed by the Appropriate Authority that costs relating to investigations carried out prior to the commencement of proceedings are not to be allowed from central funds. Please see the guidance (PDF, 110KB, 1 page) for further information.

Fill in the application form and checklist then submit them with your supporting documents.

How to make claims between parties

Check the guidance in the NTT Guide.

Guidance on claiming costs incurred by a private prosecutor, court appointee or party

NTT assesses costs based on the guidelines rates in the Senior Courts Costs Office Guide.

Supporting documents

Send these supporting documents with your claim form:

  • cost agreements to your solicitor, or the appointment letter from the court

  • solicitor details and a description of the case

  • a breakdown and page count of the prosecution evidence

  • the brief to the advocate, other instructions and any documents prepared by the advocate

  • the solicitor file of correspondence, attendance and telephone notes

  • copies of any other documents prepared, eg schedules of evidence and expert reports

  • notes of attendances, conferences, court hearings or other work

  • receipts and details of all payments

Where to send claims

  • The Birmingham office closed on 30 June 2016; please send your claim to the Manchester office.

NTT Manchester office

National Taxing Team Manchester Region
1st Floor, Manchester Civil Justice Centre
1 Bridge Street West
Greater Manchester
M60 9DJ

Legal professionals: DX: 724785 Manchester 44

Phone: 0161 240 5730
Fax: 0161 240 5743

Ask for a review

If you disagree with the NTT decision about your costs claim, ask for a review (a ‘redetermination’) within 21 days.

You must:

  • put the request in writing and make sure it’s signed by the applicant

  • specify what you disagree with and why

  • enclose relevant documents and information

  • state whether you’ll attend a review meeting

How to appeal a review

Written reasons

If you disagree with the review decision, ask for written reasons within 21 days.

If you’re not happy with these reasons, you can then appeal to the costs judge.

How to appeal to the costs judge

Complete the appeal form, specifying the amounts you’re disputing.

Your appeal must include:

  • cheque for £100 made out to The Senior Courts Costs Office
  • copy of the bill of costs and the fee claim
  • copy of the original determination and the redetermination
  • copy of reasons for questioning the decision and written reasons

Make sure your appeal is signed by advocates, or by a partner in the solicitors’ firm then send it to:

The Senior Costs Judge
The Senior Courts Costs Office
Thomas More Building
Royal Courts of Justice
London WC2A 2LL

DX: 44454 Strand

Help with your appeal

Check paragraph 5.2.4 and 5.3 of The Practice Direction (Costs in Criminal Proceedings) 2014

Further guidance

Find more detailed information in the National Taxing Team Guide (PDF, 425KB, 76 pages) , including:

  • guidance and amendments to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) Act
  • cover sheets for the NTT Fastrak schemes (p23)
  • Summary Assessment Guideline Rates appendix