Follow guidance to avoid rejections and nil-assessments.
New civil and crime forms are being introduced for 1 April 2013 to reflect:
- legal aid reforms that come into effect on this date
- 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).
The content of all civil and crime forms (except Form L17) will be different. We are now previewing the new forms on our website.
Now is also a good time to start running down your existing stocks of forms.
Form prefix changes
To reflect the cessation of the Community Legal Service (CLS) and Criminal Defence Service (CDS) brands on 31 March, we have changed the prefix on all our new forms:
- from CLS to CIV for civil forms and
- from CDS to CRM for crime forms
Consequences of using the wrong paper forms
You should use the old forms up to 1 April and the new forms on and after 1 April.
The date signature is critical:
- We will reject old forms signed on / after 1 April
- We will reject new forms signed before 1 April
We will accept old forms ? signed before 1 April ? up to 30 April in all instances except applications for civil representation which we will accept up to 5pm on 8 April.
You cannot mix the current and new versions of the forms for the same application.
What if I use the wrong form?
Rejects will cause delays for you and your client.
A rejected application will have to be re-submitted. This could mean that:
- your client?s problem is no longer entitled to legal aid or
- your client will need to make a larger financial contribution to their case.
For Civil and Crime Controlled Work (excluding Police Station Advice and Assistance), if you use the old form from 1 April, your claim will be ?nil-assessed?.
The submission of the wrong form for Crown Court matters may affect the date you are covered for work.