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Family legal aid cases and expenditure fell significantly due to Covid-19

In April to June 2020 family legal help starts decreased by 26 per cent compared to the same quarter last year. Completed claims and expenditure each decreased by 27 per cent.  Overall there were 25,033 family cases closed during the period (down 17 per cent on a year ago). There were 17,132 public law cases (down 21 per cent) accounting for £115.7 million expenditure; and 7,901 private law cases (down 8 per cent) accounting for £19.4 million.

The latest legal aid statistics from the Ministry of Justice show that workload and expenditure fell during the quarter, due to Covid-19, across almost all legal aid schemes.

Certificates granted for family work decreased by 6 per cent in April to June 2020 compared to the previous year. This decrease was seen across all family matter types apart from domestic violence, which increased by 21 per cent. Certificates completed for family work decreased by 15 per cent and associated expenditure decreased by 11 per cent compared to the same quarter the previous year.

In April to June 2020, applications for civil representation supported by evidence of domestic violence or child abuse decreased by 37 per cent compared to the same period of the previous year. The number of these granted decreased by 39 per cent over the same period. The proportion of applications granted remained steady at around 70 per cent from the inception of this type of application until the end of 2015, before increasing to around 80 per cent. The provisional figure for the latest quarter is 86 per cent.

For the full statistics, click here.