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Criminal Litigation

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    New applications - deadlines for CRM12 submissions to LAA

    The deadline to submit the CRM12 to the Legal Aid Agency for entry onto the next duty rota is 14 November 2014. As this will be a very busy period in the Accreditation department, please submit your Criminal Litigation Accreditation Scheme application no later than 6 November 2014. If it is sent after this date we will accept the application, but we cannot guarantee we will be able to process it by 14 November 2014.

    See the How do I apply? section for more information on applying.


    As a result of the ongoing uncertainty regarding the government's intended plans for the reform of crime contracting, we have decided that members of the Criminal Litigation Accreditation Scheme who are due to renew their membership will have a further extension until 31 December 2015.

    Members do not need to take any action in respect of their extension as membership records will be updated accordingly.

    Read the Law Society's response to the proposed changes in criminal legal aid tendering

    Please contact the Accreditation Unit if you are a member and no longer wish to maintain your membership of the scheme.

    From 15 May 2013, all applicants for the Duty Rota are required by the Legal Aid Agency to have the Law Society Criminal Litigation Accreditation Scheme (CLAS). This scheme is open to barristers, solicitors and FILEX members.

    All applicants are required to have both the Police Station Qualification (PSQ) or Police Station Representative scheme (run by the SRA) and the Magistrates' Court Qualification (MCQ) in order to be accredited under the scheme. The Law Society offers no exemptions for applicants who hold Higher Rights of Audience regardless of their profession.

    In order to apply for membership you will need to undertake both the PSQ and MCQ within three years and apply for the scheme. Those with a larger gap will be required to provide an explanation e.g. not eligible to take the MCQ, and a reference from your employer/supervisor confirming that you have been undertaking police station work throughout this period. Applicants who wish to discuss exemptions or enquire about the latest information should contact the Legal Aid Agency directly.

    What is the Criminal Litigation Accreditation Scheme?

    The Criminal Litigation Accreditation Scheme covers all types of criminal law work.

    Members will have shown, to the satisfaction of the Law Society and through external examination, that they have and will maintain a high level of knowledge, skills, experience and practice in the area of criminal litigation.

    The Criminal Litigation Accreditation Scheme is designed to enable solicitors, barristers and fellows of the Institute of Legal Executives (FILEX) to qualify to apply for inclusion on local duty solicitor rotas under the Legal Services Commission's Criminal Defence Service Duty Solicitor Arrangements 2001.

    Further details can be found in our Criminal Litigation Accreditation Scheme Guidance (PDF 176kb).

    Who's a member?

    To view all current members of our Criminal Litigation Accreditation Scheme download a list of members (PDF 4.8mb). This list is updated every month.

    How do I apply?

    The general scheme application criteria and guidance (PDF 125kb) is applicable to all Law Society accreditation schemes and should be read before starting the application process.

    In order to complete the application process for the Criminal Litigation Accreditation Scheme, please follow the steps below:

    1. Read the Criminal Litigation Accreditation Scheme Guidance (PDF 184kb)

    2. Read our guidance on the two examinations, the assessment organisations and their role:

    3. Download and complete the following forms:

    5. Print, sign and post forms, with the appropriate fee, to:

    Law Society Operations Admin
    The Law Society
    113 Chancery lane
    WC2A 1PL

    DX 56 London Chancery Lane

Support and services

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  • Further help or support

    If you need any further guidance or support, please contact the Accreditation Unit on:

    Telephone: 0207 320 5797 (lines are open 09:00 - 17:00 Monday to Friday)
    Email: accreditation@