Legal aid and court statistics – the latest facts and figures

On 29 September 2016 the Ministry of Justice published its legal aid and family court statistics.

The quarterly Legal aid and court statistics 2016 bulletin in particular shows that:

  • The number of new gamily legal help matters (seeking advice and assistance only but not representation or advocacy help) were 9% lower than in the same period of 2015;
  • That nether the applicant nor the respondent had a legal representative to help them in 34% of private law cases, a 17% increase from the same period in 2013;
  • That in the last two quarters reported there has been a steep increase in both applications and numbers of certificates granted for cases citing domestic abuse, with the number of applications during the last quarter over 50% higher than the same period of the previous year and the number granted 35% higher;
  • That the number of Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings (MIAMs) attended by potential applicants or respondents were down 12% in the last quarter compared to the previous year;
  • That mediation agreements stand at about 60% of pre- 1 April 2013 Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) levels;
  • That there were 85 Exceptional Case Funding applications received for Family law related matters of which 32 were granted.

The quarterly court bulletin shows:

    • There were a total of 66,328 cases started in the family courts in England and Wales in April to June 2016, a 10% increase on the same period last year;
    • The number of care cases issued (public law proceedings) has increased by 24% over the last 12 months from 3,896 to 4,833 in April to June 2016. Similarly, the number of children involved in public law applications increased by 21% over the same period to 8,972;
    • The number of private law applications started in April to June 2016 increased by 16% from the equivalent quarter in 2015 to 12,203;
    • The average time for the disposal of divorce cases with financial relief applications has been steadily increasing from 20.5 weeks at the start of 2015 to 24.9 weeks in April to June 2016;
    • The average time for the disposal of a care application made in April to June 2016 was 27 weeks;
    • 60% of care cases were dealt within the stated aim and target of 26 weeks;
    • The number of applications for domestic violence remedy orders has remained stable over the last year at around 4,700 non-molestation and 1,200 occupation applications;

1,429 applications were made for an adoption order, down 4% from the same quarter in 2015.


If you require further information or would like to make an appointment, please contact David Banks, Solicitor on 0191 269 6871 or email [email protected] for immediate legal advice and help.

In certain cases, we are able to offer legal aid help and assistance subject to criteria administered by the Legal Aid Agency. For more information as to eligibility, please refer to the eligibility guidance on the UK Government website.