Audits & checks


We conduct regular audits of legal aid lawyers to assess the quality and value of the services they deliver.

Find out more in the Legal Services Act 2011,(external link) which provides the Secretary for Justice the authority to conduct audits.

Legal aid lawyers are selected for quality and value audits based on an assessment of their risk profile. The number of audits we conduct each year is listed in the Ministry’s statement of intent.

If you would like to contact the legal aid audit team you can do so at

Find out more:

Audit operational policy [PDF, 402 KB]

Terms of reference for quality and value audits [PDF, 703 KB]

Audit results and practice themes

Each year the Ministry prepares a report about the legal aid audits completed during the previous financial year. Each report includes information about the number of audits completed, the ratings given to the legal aid providers audited, and the major themes and issues identified in that year’s programme.

The reports also include a breakdown of the type of issues found at each audit rating, ranging from 1 – Excellent to 5 – Very poor. Those sections also feature direct quotes from individual audits. Some of the reports also discuss the steps taken by the Secretary for Justice to sanctions legal aid providers who have not complied with their obligations.

The most recent reports are available below:

Audit Summary Report 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 [PDF, 401 KB]

Audit Summary Report 2017-2018 [PDF, 367 KB]

Audit Summary Report 2016-2017 [PDF, 433 KB]

Audit Summary Report 2015-2016 [PDF, 609 KB]

Quality assurance checks

We can also carry out quality assurance checks to ensure legal aid providers are delivering services efficiently and effectively, in accordance with their obligations.

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