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Legal aid: Fixed fees for family and civil (ACC) legal aid

The Ministry of Justice is changing the way it pays lawyers for family and ACC legal aid work. April 2012.

The Ministry of Justice is changing the way it pays lawyers for family and ACC legal aid work. The changes will mean that lawyers are paid fixed fees for work with relatively standard cost structures, instead of hourly rates as at present. They will still be paid hourly rates for complex cases where the fixed fees would not be adequate to cover the work.

The introduction of fixed fees is one of a number of reforms aimed at better controlling legal aid spending, which had been growing rapidly before changes began. Fixed fees will provide greater certainty for legally aided clients, lawyers and the government and costs. They will also reduce administrative overheads and provide more transparency and consistency.

The Ministry consulted family and ACC legal aid providers and representative groups during February and March 2012. As a result of that consultation, some changes were made to the proposed fees, including a decision to defer the introduction of fixed fees for mental health family legal aid cases.

The new fee frameworks will be implemented in July 2012.

The following documents summarise submissions about the new frameworks, and set out the Ministry’s responses and final decisions. 

New fees framework for family legal aid providers – April 2012 (PDF, 921KB)
New fees framework for civil (ACC) legal aid providers – April 2012 (PDF, 593KB)

View the consultation documents:

Consultation document: New fees framework for family legal aid providers – February 2012 (PDF, 815KB)
Consultation document: New fees framework for civil (ACC) legal aid providers – February 2012 (PDF, 583KB)