Applying for legal aid in summary proceedings

You should apply to us using Legal Aid Online in summary proceedings.

We require that your client completes and signs an applicant’s declaration.

The declaration must be signed by or on behalf of the nominated solicitor to confirm that they are willing to act in the case.

Where your client is not present:

When you see clients face to face they must sign the declaration.  If the client is present and cannot sign, or if the client is not present, you should indicate that you are signing on behalf of your client and give the date of your remote consultation with the client. In these circumstances you must explain the terms of the declaration to the client and obtain their verbal consent to its terms.

You should complete all parts of the form, giving sufficiently detailed reasons, by reference to the statutory factors, supporting your view that legal aid should be granted. Giving us all the information on the form means that we can assess the application fully without the need to continue it for further information or documentation.

Our automatic Crown link provides us with electronic copies of:

  • The relevant complaint.
  • Summary of evidence.
  • Any previous convictions.

Where the Crown link is unable to provide a copy, we may ask you to submit scanned copies of these documents.

In addition, you must send us:

  • Information and evidence of income, outgoings and capital
  • Any other supporting documents where appropriate, for example a copy of your client’s driving licence, insurance policy or a letter from their employer if loss of livelihood is likely.


See our guidance on solicitor and applicant signatures.


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