The Criminal Cases Unit is responsible for assessing a range of claims paid out of the Legal Aid Fund.
Certain types of claims must be submitted using the Fastrak process.
You must send claims to the Criminal Cases Unit (CCU) within 3 months of the court proceedings ending.
CCU assesses legal aid costs incurred in the Crown Court only from:
- litigators in confiscation proceedings
- advocates in confiscation proceedings where there are over 50 pages of evidence
- advocates in interlocutory appeals, and appeals, sentence committals, and breaches where the graduated fee is considered inadequate
How to make litigator and advocate claims
|Type of claim||Who claims||Claim for||Form|
|Confiscation proceedings (Criminal Justice Act 1988, Drug Trafficking Act 1994, Proceeds of Crime Act 2002) - Fastrak||Litigators only||£2000 or less excluding disbursements||PL1 form and guidance Claims must be e-mailed to POCAFastrak@legalaid.gsi.gov.uk|
|Confiscation over £2000||Litigators only||All claims over £20,00 excluding disbursements||PL2 form Claims must be e-mailed to POCA@legalaid.gsi.gov.uk|
|Confiscation||Advocates||Substantive confiscation hearing only and there are over 50 pages. All other claims go to the AGFS team||PA1 form plus documents requested on the form and copy of pages for which you are claiming. Claims must be e-mailed to POCA@legalaid.gsi.gov.uk|
|Other – Discretionary||Advocates||Interlocutory appeals, appeals against sentence and conviction, committal for sentence and breaches of Crown Court orders where the advocate considers that the graduated fee is not adequate||5145 plus a copy of the representation order; a copy of any written work done; log of work done; taxing note|
Interim payments (payments on accounts)
CCU only makes interim payments on legal aid confiscation claims. For a payment on account for a disbursement only please submit copies of the following:
- prior authority
- representation order
Extension of time for submitting your central funds or legal aid claim
You can request an extension of time by email at least 7 days before your claim is due.
- Enter ‘extension of time’ in the subject header.
- give details of why you need an extension and the date you need it for.
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Reassessment of your central funds or legal aid claim
If you disagree with CCU’s decision you must ask for it to be reconsidered (a review or a redetermination) within 21 days of the assessment.
- make your request in writing and sign it
- specify what is disputed and why
- enclose relevant documents and information
- advise if you’d like to make an application to be heard
How to appeal
If you’re dissatisfied with the decision on reassessment and you are claiming costs out of central funds (defence, prosecution, or appointee) and your claim relates to proceedings in the magistrates’ court you may apply for a Judicial Review.
If your claim is a:
- Crown Court legal aid claim
- Crown Court central funds defence or prosecution costs order claim
- Crown Court appointee claim
You can within 21 days of the notification of the reassessment decision request written reasons. If you’re still dissatisfied with those reasons, you can appeal to the Costs Judge.
Senior Courts Costs Office
Thomas More Building
Royal Courts of Justice
Telephone 0207 947 6000
How to appeal to the Costs Judge
You can appeal to the Costs Judge within 21 days of receipt of the written reasons. You must complete the appeal form, specifying the disputed amounts. You must send a copy of your appeal to the CCU.
Please refer to the Senior Court Costs Office guide .
Where to send claims for costs dealt with by CCU
All new claims for POCA fastrak should now be e-mailed to POCAFastrak@legalaid.gsi.gov.uk
All other new POCA and POCA advocate claims should now be e-mailed to POCA@legalaid.gsi.gov.uk.
We accept attendance notes in both electronic and hard copy format. If you wish to submit hard copy attendance notes you will need to wait for us to issue a claim number and advise which of our sites your hard copy notes should be submitted to. There may be a delay in processing claims where notes are submitted without a reference.
All other claims should be sent to:
Criminal Cases Unit
7th Floor, Piccadilly Gate
DX 329701 Manchester 84
How payments are made by the CCU
Payments are made by our payment centre Shared Service Connect Limited (SSCL). For any enquiries or for information on authorised payments, contact SSCL on 0845 241 5341 (2p per minute). You will need to quote the reference number and the payment number eg M1054321/09876.
Please note there is a delay in printing cheques so it would greatly assist if you could provide your bank details for a Bacs payment. This information should be on letterheaded paper signed by 2 partners and can to be scanned and emailed to: email@example.com.