Our offices are now closed and we do not have printing or mailroom facilities to print letters to applicants (all cases) and opponents (in civil cases).
We’ll continue to communicate with applicants’ solicitors about applications and accounts through Legal Aid Online.
If you have any general queries, please use the email addresses we’ve set up on our Contact Us page.
For applicants and opponents, we’ll use telephone and email as our methods of communication.
If we don’t have an email address, we’ll contact you to ask you for it. In a minority of instances we’ll ask you to pass information on to your client.
Your suggestions during the COVID19 outbreak have been very helpful to us.
If you would like to suggest any other ideas on this topic of communicating with your clients please tell us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Civil legal aid applications
Intimation/grant/refusal letters: we’ll email these to the applicant. If we don’t hold the email address for the applicant, we‘ll ask you for it. If we can’t obtain an email address, we’d ask you to make contact with your client to inform them about the decision to grant or refuse legal aid.
Continuations for financial information: we’ll telephone or email the applicant.
Where you give us details of the solicitor acting for the opponent, we will email to them: Intimation of Application/Grant/Refusal.
We won’t email the opponent directly, only their solicitor.
Where the opponent is unrepresented or you do not know who the solicitor is, and you can give us an email address for the opponent, we’ll email to them: Intimation of Application/Grant/Refusal/Representation acknowledgement letters.
Please remember that if you provide an email address for the opponent you need to be sure this is a current and accurate email address. If you are not sure, do not send us this information as this risks causing a data breach which could disclose information about your client to an unknown third party.
If we don’t have the opponent’s email address, there may be circumstances where we cannot intimate the legal aid application to the opponent. However, they will be able to make representations to us, at any time.
Principal Sums Department & Collections Unit
We’ll phone or email applicants.
We’ll be changing our approach to collection of payment where individuals experience difficulties as a result of Covid-19.
We’ll publish information on that shortly.
Criminal legal assistance applications
Continuation letters for financial information: we’ll send you an online notification as normal, but we won’t be able to send anything by post to the applicant. We would ask that wherever possible, you contact your client for the information. We can do it if you send us their email address.
Refusal letters: we’ll continue to issue online notifications to you and ask that, wherever possible, you notify your client about the refusal of legal aid. We can do it if you send us their email address. We currently don’t send grant letters to applicants and that will remain the procedure.
Children’s legal assistance applications
Grant/refusal letters: we will not send these to applicants during this period. We will continue to notify you of decisions. Where we have completed a financial assessment we will send this to you and would be grateful if you would make your client aware of its content.
Covid-19: Fillable digital Form 2 available for civil applications during pandemic
8 April 2020
We have provided a fillable fields version of the civil financial Form 2 that can be emailed to clients to help during the Covid-19 crisis.
All solicitor updates
FOR SOLICITORS - Covid-19: Help for clients making payments to the Legal Aid Fund
8 April 2020
Steps we've put in place to help clients with payments, including contributions, expenses awards, property recovered or preserved, & terminations of legal aid.
Covid-19: Appointed solicitor delegation of custody appearance
3 April 2020
Update confirming that Covid-19 a "good reason" for delegation of a custody appearance by an appointed solicitor.
Covid-19: Making three-way calls on the Agent to Prison VC link
2 April 2020
Update on three-way video conference calls (solicitor, Advocate & prisoner) on Agent to Prisons video link. Suggested interim solution until SPS investigates.