CCMS Guidance: Legal Aid Costs Recovery



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The Client and Costs Management System (CCMS) is a system introduced by the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) in England and Wales to manage legal aid applications and billing for legal aid providers.

This system can be used by fee earners, Costs Draftsmen, Costs Lawyers, as well as legal aid providers and other agents assigned to work on legal aid cases.

CCMS was designed to streamline the process of applying for Legal Aid and managing costs associated with Legal Aid cases. The system allows legal professionals to submit applications and manage their cases online. It also provides features for billing and managing costs associated with Legal Aid cases.


Submitting Legal Aid costs via the CCMS system

The Legal Aid Agency transitioned from its paper-based system several years ago, and presently, all procedures are conducted digitally through the CCMS.

Regarding costs, claims for fixed costs can be easily prepared and submitted on a case by case basis. This includes making claims for Family Advocacy Scheme (FAS) fees and disbursements under any certificate.


CCMS Guidance for Exceptional Costs

Using the CCMS to manually input exceptional costs claims line by line can be a tedious process when submitting a claim for interim or final costs costs on a certificate. To streamline this, we recommend using external third-party software to prepare any exceptional costs claim based on hourly rates.

These costs claims can then be converted into a CCMS friendly format (XML) and undergo a test upload using the ‘Pricing Upload’ option on CCMS. This step helps users to catch and correct any errors without affecting your LAA contract. Once approved, you can formally submit the exceptional costs claim, and the LAA typically processes it within 1-2 weeks.

If you are dealing with aged legal aid claims that pre-date CCMS, costs should be submitted in the relevant CLAIM1/CLAIM1A format and emailed to for processing, along with evidential documents in support. This ensures that you can still follow an electronic submissions process, rather than dealing with paper submissions which can be time ineffective. 


How can ARC Costs Assist?

ARC Costs can provide both CCMS guidance and assistance with Legal Aid costs. We assist a number of law firms in quantifying, administering and submitting their costs claims via the CCMS process. 

The most common areas of work we deal with are civil, family (ancillary relief, Children Act and domestic abuse matters) and care/supervision order work.  We also have teams that deal with Judicial Review and Housing claims funded by way of Legal Aid, and can also assist if any inter-partes costs orders are made in these proceedings.

The ARC Costs team can provide extensive assistance when handling publicly funded cases. Our LAA Costs Draftsmen and Costs Lawyers are happy to process and submit your LAA costs claims via CCMS on your behalf if you wish, and we often deal with the entire costs administrative process from start to finish, and regularly achieve 100% recoveries.

To find out more about how we can help you, please contact us at 01204 397302 or



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