We are able to make criminal legal aid available to your client in a matter of special urgency, where it is not possible to submit a full legal aid application, even when we have not yet been satisfied of financial eligibility or the Interests of Justice test.
The application for special urgency cover in summary proceedings must be made by telephone.
This will normally only apply in cases where the court appearance is imminent (set for that day), and/or you are unable to submit a full application to us urgently.
If you can urgently send a full legal aid application to us, we will prioritise this and consider the full legal aid application urgently, before the court hearing. You should telephone us once you have sent it, so that we can immediately assess the application.
Where we make special urgency legal aid available in this way, we may limit the purposes for which it is available. We will deal with each case on its own particular merits.
You will be sent a separate notification confirming the work you are covered to do.
If you make a full legal aid application for the same case, then the full application will be matched to the LARN already created for the Special Urgency grant. If the full application is granted, the case is then paid on a detailed fee (time & line) basis rather than a fixed fee.
If you need to employ an expert or counsel as part of the urgent work, you should send a request for this by online notification using the LARN for the case. We can’t use the usual sanction application process where there is only a grant of special urgency legal aid.