Defence Graduated Fees

A Brief History
The Advocates Graduated Fees Scheme (AGFS) was introduced in 1997 under the Legal Aid in Criminal and Care Proceedings (Costs) (amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 1996. The scheme has been through a number of changes, On this page you will find links to the main amendments, guidance and forms where available.

AGFS claims processed by the LAA
Processing, validation and payment of most claims under the Advocates’ Graduated Fees Scheme (AGFS) is carried out by the LAA.

Some claims however should be sent to the National Taxing Team at HMCTS. These are:

    Proceeds of Crime Act claims involving more than 50 pages of evidence – Applications are made under Paragraph 11 of Schedule 1 of the Criminal Defence Service Funding order 2007 – the types of pages which count towards the 50+ pages are set out in that order.
    Claims where you believe that the Fixed Fee normally payable for an Appeal or a committal for Sentence / Breach is not appropriate and that the determining officer should instead allow reasonable remuneration – see Part 4 Article 17(4) of the Criminal Defence Service (Funding) Order 2007.

Which claim form do I use?
All AGFS claims submitted to the LAA will need to be on the AF1 form with the relevant supporting evidence.

The Instructed Advocate is responsible for drawing up and submitting the AF1 to the LAA as set out in the Funding Order.

Where the identity of the Instructed Advocate is disputed the advocate must provide evidence to the LAA to confirm their status. This could be a copy of the letter to the court or a copy of a letter signed by all advocates in the case agreeing the nominated person as Instructed Advocate.

As of May 2015 the Instructed Advocate status (when in dispute) is always confirmed as the counsel who attended the Main Hearing on the case, this amendment only applies to Legal aid Orders dated after 5th May 2015.

Depleted Fee Calculator, Junior Alone (based on the Bar Council Payment protocol)

Don’t forget to include your LAC1 for Either Way Offences, guidance on what to do if you don’t have one can be found here

Where do I send the AF1 form and who can i speak to?

All Graduated Fee Billing is now online and accesssed through the MOJ Portal

The LAA have kindly produced a useful contact sheet with all the contact details needed for a variety of queries

Contact Me