Audits & checks


We conduct regular audits of legal aid lawyers to assess the quality and value of the services they deliver.

Find out more in the Legal Services Act 2011(external link), which provides us with the authority to conduct audits.

Legal aid lawyers are selected for quality and value audits based on an assessment of their risk profile. The number of audits we conduct each year is listed in the Ministry’s statement of intent.

Lawyers receive an audit rating, measured on a scale from one to 5, with one being excellent and 5 being very poor.

Find out more:

Auditing and monitoring policy [PDF, 368 KB]

Terms of reference for quality and value audits [PDF, 701 KB]

Proposed revisions to Audit Policy - Consultation

The Ministry of Justice is seeking feedback on proposed changes to the:

Legal Aid Provider Auditing and Monitoring Policy [PDF, 417 KB] (audit policy) and the

Legal Aid Provider Audit Terms of Reference [PDF, 705 KB] (terms of reference)

The proposed changes will add additional risk assessment metrics to the provider selection process to   highlight above average billing practices, and identify providers whose legal aid applications, or amendment to grant applications are often rejected.  The proposed metrics will be in addition to the currently used metrics for audit selection.

You can find more detail in the consultation paper below. The proposed changes are marked up in the attached audit policy and the terms of reference attached above.

Please send any feedback to

Consultation Paper [PDF, 315 KB]

Audit results and practice themes

A summary of legal aid audits from 2015-16 indicates that 86% of audited lawyers were rated as ‘acceptable’ or above. Analysis of the 76 audit reports identified 5 main practice themes, across areas of strength and opportunities for improvement.

2017 Audit summary report [PDF, 609 KB]

The 2015 report High Quality Legal Aid Services - Good Practice Themes from Audits presents  results of legal aid audits  from 2014-15. The report focuses  on ‘excellent’ and ‘very good’ results.

Good practice themes from audits - summary [PDF, 549 KB]

Good practice themes from audits [PDF, 466 KB]

Quality assurance checks

We can also carry out quality assurance checks to ensure legal aid providers are delivering services efficiently and effectively, in accordance with their obligations.

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