Register for criminal legal assistance

Solicitors and firms who wish to provide Criminal Legal Assistance must follow our Code of Practice. Please read this before completing the registration process.

Register a firm

Any firm that wants to be listed on the Criminal Legal Assistance Register must be registered with the Law Society of Scotland as a practice unit.

If this is the case please complete the CLAR/F form and email it to criminalregister@slab.org.uk.

  • The second part of the CLAR/F form will ask you to provide details of your procedures in relation to various aspects of the Code of Practice (e.g. time recording, document control and staff supervision) and how your firm complies with these. We have provided specimen answers to assist you with this.

If you wish to change the compliance manager of your firm in the future, please have the person who is assuming this role complete the CLAR/CP form and email it to criminalregister@slab.org.uk.

Role of the compliance manager

The Compliance Manager has to be a partner within the firm. They do not have to have any practical knowledge of or involvement in legal assistance or have to be registered in their own right. The Compliance Manager’s initial and on-going duties are outlined in the Code of Practice. These are:

  • Making the application for the nominating firm to be registered and informing us of any changes.
  • Certifying that the firm and its staff comply with the Code when the application is made.
  • Monitor and ensure ongoing compliance with the Code.
  • Notifying us as soon as reasonably practicable of any changes within the firm relevant either to registration or compliance with the Code.
  • Liaising with us regarding the firm’s or an individual’s compliance with the Code.
  • Make available to us any of the firm procedures required under the Code.
  • Ensure that there is an effective firm-level system of monitoring and supervision of account preparation and submission by solicitors.
  • Ensure that necessary and remedial action is taken in the event of any non-compliance.

Solicitor registration

If you work for a firm that is already registered to provide Criminal Legal Assistance then please complete the CLAR/S form and email it to criminalregister@slab.org.uk along with a copy of your current practising certificate. You will also need to have a link to the firmon our financial and accounts management system.

What will happen once we receive your application?

We will contact you once we have reviewed your application and let you know if it has been approved.

  • If you are registering a firm we will also email you with login details for Legal Aid Online. This is a web-based system that you will use to submit applications, accounts and conduct other business with us.
  • If your firm is already registered then your LAOL administrator will be able to create an account and provide you with these.

What you can do next

In the mean time you should familiarise yourself with Legal Aid Online information hub. There is useful information about logging into the system for the first time as well as detailed training materials on using the system.

Please email criminalregister@slab.org.uk if you require any support or further information about the registration process.

Further guidance

Code of Practice

View the full Code of Practice and access accompanying guidance to assist compliance.

Entry on to our financial accounting and management system (FAMS)

Read guidance about our finance system and useful information for managing your account.