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Legal Aid

Volume 504: debated on Monday 18 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much of the legal aid budget has been spent on very high cost cases in the last five years. (309629)

The Legal Services Commission manages individual case contracts on all very high cost criminal cases for trials lasting 41 days or over. The costs are agreed between the service providers and the LSC at each stage. The LSC also manages civil cases where the costs are likely to exceed £25,000 under individual case contracts. Expenditure on criminal and civil very high cost cases is shown in the following tables.

Crime very high cost cases

Expenditure (£ million)

Percentage of total criminal defence service expenditure

Percentage of total Crown court and higher courts expenditure

2004-05

96.0

8.0

14.0

2005-06

103.2

8.6

14.8

2006-07

104.6

8.9

16.1

2007-08

124.6

10.8

17.9

2008-09

112.1

9.5

16.5

Civil very high cost cases

Expenditure (£ million)

Percentage of total community legal service expenditure

2004-05

51

6.0

2005-06

57

6.8

2006-07

69

8.5

2007-08

65

7.7

2008-09

75

8.4