New forms are being introduced for both crime and civil legal aid from 1 April 2013
Changes to our forms are being made as a result of:
- legal aid reforms that come into effect on 1 April 2013
- terminology changes, stipulated in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act, 2012
- the abolition of the Legal Services Commission (LSC) and creation of the Legal Aid Agency (LAA).
What does this mean for you?
Although the majority of legal aid forms will be completed by the contracted solicitor, you will need to ensure that you are using the correct version of any advocates? forms from 1 April 2013.
Why is this so important?
Any incorrectly submitted form will be rejected by the LAA, which will result in increased processing time for the LAA and a delay for you.
Advocates? civil and crime claim forms which are signed and dated on or before 31 March 2013, will be accepted by the LAA up to 30 April 2013, as long as:
- the old version of the form has been used
- it is fully completed, including all supporting evidence that is required
- it has been received by the LAA/HMCTS by 5pm on the 30 April 2013.
If any ?old? forms are used after this date they will be rejected and the claim will need to be re-submitted on the new form.
The only exception to this is Crime LAC1 forms. These are signed by the Court Legal Adviser at the time a case is directed to the Crown Court by the magistrates.
For these forms, there may be a time lapse between the LAC1 being completed and an AF1 or LF1 claim form being submitted. So we will continue to accept old LAC1 forms provided:
- the correct version of the AF1 accompanies it
- the hearing date was before the 1st April 2012
When will the new forms be available?
The new forms are available now on the preview page of our website (see below).
While you can view the forms now you will not be able to use them until 1 April 2013.