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Legal aid expenditure for family matters rose 12 per cent in April to June 2021

In April to June 2021 legal aid for family matters rose 12 per cent to £152.1 million. Legal aid for public family law, which accounts for more than 80 per cent of all civil legal aid, amounted to £124.1 million (an increase of 7 per cent). Legal aid in private family matters came to £28.1 million (an increase of 42 per cent).

In April to June 2021 family legal help starts increased by 11 per cent compared to the same quarter last year. Completed claims also increased by 19 per cent and expenditure increased by 19 per cent. However, compared to the same period of 2019 (pre-Covid), family legal help starts are down by 13 per cent, completed claims are down by 12 per cent and expenditure has fallen by 10 per cent. There was a steep decline immediately following the implementation of LASPO Act in April 2013, with a more gradual decline over the last two to three years.

Certificates granted for family work increased by 6 per cent in April to June 2021 compared to the previous year. Certificates completed increased by 5 per cent and associated expenditure increased by 12 per cent compared to the same quarter the previous year. Compared to the same quarter of 2019, certificates completed decreased by 11 per cent. The volume and expenditure for closed case domestic violence civil representation increased following COVID-19 and now exceeds pre-covid levels (42 and 46 per cent higher respectively – compared to April to June 2019).

Applications for civil representation supported by evidence of domestic violence or child abuse increased by 21 per cent, compared to the same period of 2020.

For the full figures, click here.

3/10/21