Advice and assistance applications: the applicant’s declaration

The importance of obtaining and retaining your client’s declaration

For every online advice and assistance application where you see your client face to face you must obtain and retain your client’s signature.

You can do this by either printing the completed online application (A&A only) or the client mandate AA LAO CIV, which you can download from our website.

You do not have to send us a copy, but as part of our audits and quality checks, we will seek verification that applications or mandates have been signed. If necessary, you may complete the online application in the absence of your client. However, it will remain your responsibility to ensure that your client reads, signs and dates the copy online application or mandate.

Your client must:

  • Read the declaration before signing it
  • Insert the date when they actually sign the declaration
  • Not be asked to sign the declaration on either a mandate or copy online application in which any boxes are left blank or answers altered unless the amendment has been initialed by the applicant.

Points the client should understand before signing

You should make sure that your client understands that, by signing this declaration:

  • They authorise us to ask other people or bodies for information about the application
  • They may have to pay for their advice and assistance from any property recovered or preserved as a result of the grant
  • They consent to the disclosure of the application for quality assurance purposes.


Where your client is unable to sign

If the client is present and cannot sign then you need to provide an explanation when you submit your application via Legal Aid Online.

If you are not meeting your client in person then you must explain the terms of the declaration to them and obtain their verbal consent to its terms.  You may then select the ‘client not present and agrees with the declaration terms’ option within Legal Aid Online.


See our guidance on solicitor and applicant signatures.


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