Guidance for legal aid providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

The Legal Aid Agency (LAA) has published a schedule of processes restarting after its COVID contingency response.

Processes and payments

It has also published guidance on: 

For hardship and interim payments scenarios, see the Crown Court fee guidance.  

Changes to the court assessment of legal aid bills

In August 2020, HMCTS announced that it was transferring the majority of court assessed bills in-house to the LAA.

We launched judicial review proceedings against the LAA and the lord chancellor – mainly on the grounds that there had been a significant policy change affecting providers without any proper consultation.

As a result, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) launched a consultation in February 2021.

Read our response to the civil legal aid bills consultation

Courts and tribunals 

HMCTS has published advice and guidance for all court and tribunal users during the coronavirus pandemic, including:

Remote hearings

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has brought about a fast and widespread transition to remote hearings while participants could not attend court or tribunal buildings.

Find out what's changing for remote hearings

Read our practice note on virtual court first hearings

Keeping safe and virtual working 

Our coronavirus police station interview protocol

How to video conference safely

SRA guidance on maintaining confidentiality during remote working

Furlough

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: guidance for law firms

Claim for wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Returning to work 

As solicitors return to the office in the coming weeks, it’s important that firms:

  • complete risk assessments
  • begin consulting with staff
  • take all the necessary steps to ensure their employees’ safety
  • ensure everything’s in place before people return to the office

Read our practical framework for law firms and sole practitioners on return to the office

Legal aid updates

To receive regular updates, sign up for our legal aid alerts by logging in and selecting 'legal aid' as one of your topics of interest in My LS.

If you're not registered yet, you can get a My LS account by following the 'sign up' link at the top of any of our webpages.

Maximise your Law Society membership with My LS