Claim for Crown Court Defence - Beta Assessment

The report from the beta reassessment of the MoJ's Claim for Crown Court Defence service on 29 January 2016. The service was formerly known as Advocate Defence Payments.

Stage Beta reassessment
Result Pass
Service Provider Ministry of Justice (MoJ)

Outcome of service assessment

After consideration the assessment panel has concluded the Claim for Crown Court Defence service has shown sufficient progress and evidence of meeting the Digital Service Standard criteria and should proceed to launch as a Beta service on a domain.


The panel was impressed with the amount of good work the service team has put into developing and improving this service. Claim for crown court defence is essentially a business to business transaction whereby legal firms submit bills to the government for payment. The service team demonstrated that it has a strong understanding of its users, both on the advocates’ side, and at the Legal Aid Agency.

One of the recommendations made by GDS at the previous service assessment was that more research be carried out into what the service is called. The panel was impressed to see that the new name, Claim for crown court defence, better reflects what the service does.

Regarding design, the service broadly follows the GDS style guide. Where it doesn’t, changes have been made based on solid user research. A good example of this involves a recommendation made at the last assessment for more research be carried out on the layout of the service. That is to say, the team was advised to look into having only one element of the service per page. However, following in-depth testing, it was shown that users found the single page approach better met their needs.

The service has been running as a private beta and 950 real cases have been submitted and processed. Based on this work the team was able to present solid evidence that users can succeed first time.

During the course of the private beta, the service was extended to include sole users. The service team has learned much from this work, which has contributed to further improvements in the overall design.


  • Use the GOV.UK style for tables, and only change it if you have user research evidence to back that up

  • When using tables, align number values - including money - to the right (as in the GOV.UK table style)

  • Restrict line lengths by, for example, using 2/3 width columns

  • Avoid using “(s)” wherever possible - for example, Message(s). Instead, use singular or plural unless this is shown to be confusing

Overview of Digital Service Standard Criteria

Criteria Result Criteria Result
12 Yes 13 Yes
Published 23 December 2016