Legal aid data

Legal aid can help meet the costs of legal advice, family mediation and representation in a court or tribunal.

You’ll usually need to show that:

  • your case is eligible for legal aid
  • the problem is serious
  • you cannot afford to pay for legal costs

Legal aid overview

Closed-case measure of expenditure - nominal terms (£m)

2023-24 (source). 'nominal terms' means not adjusted for inflation.

RDEL (resource departmental expenditure limit) (£m)

2022-23 (source). Note figures for 2023-24 will be updated once the LAA accounts are laid before parliament.


This area covers work carried out by legal aid providers at police stations and in magistrates' courts in relation to people accused of or charged with criminal offences. Prison law is also included within the latter category.

See Legal aid statistics quarterly for further information.

940,599

Value for 2023-24. View time series for total claim volume

652,848

Value for 2023-24. View time series for police station advice

270,397

Value for 2023-24. View time series for magistrates court representation

794

Value for 2023-24. View time series for advice & assistance on appeals

16,466

Value for 2023-24. View time series for prison law

94

Value for 2023-24. View time series for civil work associated with crime cases

301,231

Value for 2023-24. View time series for total legal aid expenditure - crime lower (£'000)


Information is provided on legal representation in the Crown Court and above. This includes, Crown Court cases (typically solicitor prepares case for trial and barrister or solicitor advocate provides representation), Very High Cost Cases (extensive evidence reviewed and case prepared by solicitor where the senior counsel (QC) often presents).

See Legal aid statistics quarterly for further information.

3,553

Value for 2023-24. View time series for higher courts volume of completed cases and claims

84,650

Value for 2023-24. View time series for litigator graduated fee scheme (LGFS)

82,932

Value for 2023-24. View time series for advocate graduated fee scheme (AGFS)

25

Value for 2023-24. View time series for very high cost crime

6,991

Value for 2023-24. View time series for total higher courts value (£'000)

400,657

Value for 2023-24. View time series for litigator graduated fee scheme (LGFS) value (£'000)

282,414

Value for 2023-24. View time series for advocate graduated fee scheme (AGFS) value (£'000)

13,482

Value for 2023-24. View time series for very high cost crime value (£'000)

3,629

Value for 2023-24. View time series for litigator legacy (pre 2008) & discretionary

1,783

Value for 2023-24. View time series for advocate legacy (pre 2005) & discretionary

711,593

Value for 2023-24. View time series for total legal aid expenditure - crime higher (£'000)


This is a form of civil legal services which includes advice and assistance about a legal problem, but does not include representation or advocacy in proceedings. It is usually the first point of civil legal advice and can be over the telelphone or face-to-face.

See Legal aid statistics quarterly for further information.

142,001

Value for 2023-24. View time series for total matters started

153,439

Value for 2023-24. View time series for total volume of claims submitted

27,356

Value for 2023-24. View time series for housing possession court duty scheme (HPCDS) starts

30,546

Value for 2023-24. View time series for completed HPCDS

110,519

Value for 2023-24. View time series for total value (£'000) of claims submitted


Civil Representation is representation by solicitors and barristers for civil cases, which could go to court. Many legal help cases will extend to civil representation with full investigations undertaken or in court representation given although it is possible enter straight into civil representation.

See Legal aid statistics quarterly for further information.

115,548

Value for 2023-24. View time series for total received applications

108,732

Value for 2023-24. View time series for total certificates granted

119,686

Value for 2023-24. View time series for total certificates completed

116,931

Value for 2023-24. View time series for civil representation costs met by LAA total completed

12,148

Value for 2023-24. View time series for total applications received in period via the domestic violence and child abuse gateway

10,420

Value for 2023-24. View time series for total applications granted in period via the domestic violence and child abuse gateway


Family mediation involves an independent and impartial professionally accredited mediator discussing problems with a divorcing or separating couple in an attempt to reach agreement without using the courts.

See Legal aid statistics quarterly for further information.

12,159

Value for 2023-24. View time series for assessments

7,116

Value for 2023-24. View time series for mediation starts

7,767

Value for 2023-24. View time series for total outcomes


This scheme was introduced in April 2013 for clients whose case falls outside the scope of legal aid, but failure to grant funding could breach their human rights or EU legal rights. The same means and merits criteria apply as for legal aid, but there is an additional ECF merits criteria to be met.

See Legal aid statistics quarterly for further information.

3,342

Value for 2023-24. View time series for applications received

2,454

Value for 2023-24. View time series for applications granted