Applying for legal aid for contempt

Following the judgment in Brown v London Borough of Haringey [2015] EWCA Civ 483 (our post here), the LAA has issued new guidance on applying for legal aid to represent those accused of contempt of court. As McCombe LJ said in Brown, this is criminal legal aid – even where the proceedings are in the civil courts – and so an application for a criminal representation order will be necessary.

Applications are made to the Nottingham office of the LAA, using form CRM14. If your firm doesn’t have a criminal contract, you will also need to apply for an individual case contract (ICC). Criminal legal aid for contempt is not means tested.

There is a guidance document for general contempt cases, and a separate one for applications for contempt cases in breach of injunctions made under Part 1 Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014.

Claims are made using form CRMCLAIM11 and the payment rates depend on the venue in which the contempt proceedings are heard. The LAA’s guidance unhelpfully refers to the 2013 Regulations “as amended” but doesn’t set out what the amendments are, where they are to be found, or acknowledge that an amended version of the 2013 Regulations isn’t available anywhere to the best of our knowledge.

These are the applicable payment rates:

There is an upper costs limit of £1,368.75 (£1,237.50 from 1 July) that can only be exceeded with prior approval from the LAA.

UPDATE: The July 2015 fee cut was revoked for cases starting on or after 1 April 2016. These cases will attract the rates, and costs limits, set out in the 2014 regs, above. For more on the revocation, see here.


Filed under Civil, Costs, Crime, Family, Housing

2 responses to “Applying for legal aid for contempt


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