Legal Aid

Travel and accommodation requests for Crown Court proceedings

PUBLISHED April 11, 2013

Prior authority requests now go to the Legal Aid Agency

Requests for prior authority to claim for travel and accommodation costs in Crown Court cases now need to be sent to the Legal Aid Agency.

This change took effect on 1 April 2013 and means the Crown Court will no longer be considering such requests.

In the past the Crown Court would agree, in principle, whether travel and accommodation expenses could be claimed by defence representatives to attend the trial.

But now, if litigators and advocates need to request prior authority, they will need to contact the LAA?s Nottingham regional office ? see below.

Travel outside nearest Bar

Such a request would usually be made when a court does not have a local bar and by an advocate with an office more than 40km from the Crown Court in question.

Examples where advocates may be allowed travel are where:

? an advocate has particular specialised knowledge or experience
? an advocate has previously been instructed to represent a defendant in related matters and continuing representation would assist the preparation and/or presentation of the case in question
? a case is transferred to the court and it would assist the preparation and/or presentation to keep the same advocate
? the instruction of a local advocate may lead to suspicion of prejudice e.g. cases of local notoriety involving public figures or officials.

Travel is only allowed as if the advocate came from the nearest local bar.

What prior authority means

Prior authority should only be sought for the principle of incurring travel and accommodation costs during the Crown Court proceedings.

Requests should not be made for the travel and accommodation costs themselves. These will still be subject to assessment.

What to include with your request

Your request should include an explanation of the reason why you want prior authority.

For example, you may want to request authority on the basis of specialised knowledge or experience. So you would need to provide a copy of the indictment together with details of the relevant expertise.

Where to send your Prior Authority request

Email Nottingham regional office:

You should put ?Crown Court Travel Prior Authority? in the email subject field.

Further information

Nottingham office: 0115 908 4280 (between 9am and 12pm)

Justice website: Advocates graduated fee scheme

  • See T1-T7 of the AGFS Guidance document