Legal Aid

We’re taking over court processing work

PUBLISHED February 13, 2014

Transfer supports development of digital public services

Work on processing criminal legal aid applications is to be transferred from the courts to a small number of centralised sites in the Legal Aid Agency.
The transfer has been agreed between ourselves and HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS).
A key goal now is to ensure this change dovetails with our commitment to improve criminal legal aid processes.


Crime providers and advocates will both be affected and the transfer is expected to start in October 2014.

We are aiming to take on all of the work by March 2015.

Expansion of electronic working

We will also be expanding electronic working for crime providers. This supports the wider government aim to develop digital public services.

The current crime CRM14 eForm will be rolled out across England and Wales. This is already available for use by providers in the north east and Essex.
In addition, we will be working with a number of providers who will make criminal legal aid applications online from spring 2014.
Working with you
This is part of an early phase to help ensure we get the full transfer right. For example, embedding processes in advance of wider expansion.
Providers currently working with eForms have welcomed the new way of working.
One said that it is ‘easier and less time consuming to submit legal aid forms online’.

Improving criminal legal aid processing

Electronic working has real processing benefits for you:

  • 'date stamp' application
  • reduced rejects and resubmissions
  • DWP link to provide indication of client eligibility
  • save money on paper processes and postage
  • electronic notifications
  • more secure transfer of case and client information
  • using software and tools providers are already familiar with

Working with you

We recognise this is a significant change. That is why we are establishing a working group which includes providers and representative bodies.

They will play an important role identifying improvements to existing processes and future eForm products.
They will also work closely with us as we develop the national rollout approach.
We will provide regular progress updates on this work.