Legal aid – guidance

Legal aid guidance

General information including on costs assessment and remuneration for civil and crime matters.


Narrative and guidance: legal aid (PDF, 300KB, 29 pages) details certain aspects of legal aid such as:

  • prior authorities (including authorities for counsel and experts in Children Act cases)
  • funding for cases outside England and Wales

Paying for your civil legal aid (PDF, 192KB, 6 pages) helps clients with civil legal problems.

Evidence requirements for private family law (PDF, 746KB, 26 pages) outlines necessary evidence in this area since the introduction of the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO).

Lord Chancellor’s guidance

Lord Chancellor's guidance on regulation 5A of the civil legal aid regulations 2013 (PDF, 23.2KB, 3 pages)

Lord Chancellor's guidance (under section 4 of LASPO) (PDF, 1.32MB, 69 pages)

Lord Chancellor's guidance - determining eligibility (means) (PDF, 953KB, 128 pages)

Lord Chancellor's guidance - exceptional case funding (inquests) (PDF, 317KB, 7 pages)

Lord Chancellor's guidance - exceptional case funding (non-inquests) (PDF, 228KB, 20 pages)

Notice to the Director of Legal Aid Casework: Lord Chancellor’s guidance on exceptional funding (non inquests) (PDF, 10.3KB, 1 page)

Costs assessment guidance

The Costs assessment guidance has been amended to take account of the 2015 Standard Contract and in order to set out the extent to which disbursements can be claimed for investigatory help work in Exceptional Case Funding matters.

There are 2 versions of the costs assessment guidance, one for use with the 2010 Standard Civil Contract and the second for use with the 2013, 2014 and 2015 Standard Civil Contracts.

This applies to work governed by both the 2010 Standard Civil Contract and the 2013 Standard Civil Contract and the 2014 Standard Civil Contract.

For use with the 2010 contract:

For use with the 2013, 2014 and 2015 contract:

Other guidance

The electronic handbook (PDF, 1.6MB, 138 pages)

The statutory charge manual (PDF, 772KB, 115 pages)


The criminal bills assessment manual (PDF, 1.54MB, 117 pages) sets out the Legal Aid Agency’s approach to costs assessment where work is undertaken in the magistrates’ court under a representation order.

The guidance is applied when assessing non standard fee claims and for costs compliance audits on fee claims.

Crown Court Fee guidance (PDF, 878KB, 104 pages)

This guidance covers all aspects of Crown Court legal aid fees under the Advocates’ Graduated Fee Scheme (AGFS) and Litigators’ Graduated Fee Scheme (LGFS).

Offence classification and type for AGFS and LGFS claims (MS Excel Spreadsheet, 317KB)

A guide to offence classification and type for AGFS and LGFS claims.

Post-judgment notice to Director of Legal Aid Casework (DLAC): IS v DLAC and The Lord Chancellor: ECF Guidance (non-inquests) (PDF, 23.1KB, 1 page)