FOR SOLICITORS – Covid-19: Help for clients making payments to the Legal Aid Fund

We know that the Covid-19 pandemic is causing hardship for people and many of your clients will have seen changes in their financial circumstances, including reductions in income and loss of employment.

We’re doing what we can to help people in those circumstances who make payments to the Legal Aid Fund.

This will apply to all types of payments made as a result of:

  • A determination that a contribution is payable from income or capital
  • An award of expenses
  • Property recovered or preserved
  • Termination of legal aid as a result of the conduct listed in Regulation 31(a)(i) – (v).

Below is information about the steps your clients should follow in the event they are unable to meet their payments during the Covid-19 pandemic.

We’ve published similar information for the public on our website. Please make your clients aware of this information.

Step 1: Pro-active contact if non-payment

If any of your clients are worried about being able to make a payment, they should contact us as soon as possible. They should contact the Collections Team –  full public contact details are available on our Contact us page.

If someone fails to make an expected monthly payment, we will contact them directly via telephone or email to find out if their difficulties are as a result of Covid-19. We will not issue arrears or pre-suspension letters.

Step 2: Re-assess eligibility or offer a payment break or reduce monthly payments

If your client tells us that they have had a change in financial circumstances or cannot afford to pay because of Covid-19 we can, depending on the stage of their case, either re-assess their eligibility, or offer a payment break, or reduce the monthly payments.

During the computation period

If there is a change of circumstances during the computation period, we can re-assess eligibility and adjust the contribution amount. We will freeze the requirement for payments while we re-assess.

Outwith the computation period

If the change of circumstances occurs outwith the computation period, then we can offer a payment break or reduce the monthly payments. The total contribution level cannot itself be reduced outwith the computation period.

Any payment break will be for three months, after which the position will be reviewed. We will not ask to see evidence of the change.

Solicitors will be able to continue doing work under the grant of legal aid during the payment holiday.

Step 3: Civil legal aid will not be suspended or terminated

During this period civil legal aid will not be suspended or terminated for non-payment of a contribution.

Step 4: Enforcement action

No steps to enforce payment will be taken for the next 3 months, at which point we will review the position. We will not raise court action for payment, or seek to enforce any decree we have not yet actioned.

We hope that these steps will help your clients.

Contact us

If you have any queries about this, please contact Cindy Morrice –

If you have any other suggestions to help you clients during this time, please email us at

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