2010 Standard Civil Contract

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Latest Updates

15 November 2010 - New rules have been introduced for providers who use devolved powers to grant emergency funding certificates in Judicial Review cases. These are interim arrangements which will apply until midnight on 31 March, 2011. Details of these arrangements can be found in the 'Statement of devolved powers' document on this webpage.

The Unified Contract (Civil) 2007 has now been extended until midnight on 30 November 2011 for only the suppliers who currently deliver ‘family only’ and ‘family and housing’ publicly funded legal services.

13 October 2010 - The 2010 Standard Civil Contract for all non-family publicly funded services(including family mediation services) will start on 15 November 2010, for those who have been successful in the recent tender process for those services.

The Unified Contract (Civil) 2007 has been extended until midnight on 14 December 2010 for only the Suppliers who currently deliver ‘family only’ and ‘family and housing’ publicly funded legal services. The quashing order issued by the High Court means that the LSC cannot proceed with awarding the 2010 Standard Civil Contracts in respect of those services to providers who were successful in the recent tender.

20 September 2010 - We have published guidance relating to the extension of the current contract which will now end on 14 November This guidance can be found on the Unified Contract (Civil) pages.

10 September 2010 - Contract For Signature
We've revised the contract start date of the 2010 Standard Civil Contract to 15 November 2010

26 March 2010 -
The Family Specification has been updated to take into account a consultation by the Ministry of Justice on changes to the Funding Order to give effect to the family fee schemes.  The changes are minor amendments to the descriptions of services excluded from the Private Law scheme and the Family Advocacy Scheme (see paragraphs 7.69 and 7.102).  The version of the contract documentation attached to this webpage are the version referred to in the amended Funding Order.  The guide to the specification has also been updated to take this into account.

16 February 2010 -  To take account on some minor drafting changes, we replaced the Schedule.  The key changes are that we have:
Removed the Panel Membership ratio field on Table 4
Added a footnote to Table 1 to clarify the locations where Licensed work may be carried out
Corrected an error in the name of a panel in Table 5

10 February 2010 - To take account of some minor drafting changes, we replaced the Standard Terms and Contract For Signature.  The key changes are that we have:    
Contract For Signature
Revised the Contract Start Date to 14 October 2010;
Removed the reference to sub-contracting as this is not applicable; and
Amended the Consortium table in the Annex.    
Standard Terms
Clarified the rule for submitting information in the event LSC Online is unavailable (Clause 7.19);
Confirmed that both the CFS and Schedule may be in electronic format (Clause 12.1);
Clarified the rules on termination in relation to consortium arrangements (Clause 25.4); and
Corrected our Fax number (Clause 28.11).

About the 2010 Standard Civil Contract

All our civil legal aid providers must sign a contract with us.

The new 2010 Standard Civil Contract will come into force on 15 November 2010 for all non-family publicly funded services (including family mediation services). Providers will need to apply for and be awarded the new contract in order to carry out these services from 15 November 2010.

This page contains information on the terms of the 2010 Standard Civil Contract.  For information on our approach to letting 2010 contracts, and supporting documentation including the Q&A and procurement plans, please see our Tenders pages.

Contract documents

All documents are in the Documents panel on the right. There are also guides to the contract which outline the main terms of the 2010 Standard Terms and Specification.

Please note that on 30 November 2009 we made a minor revision to the standard terms at 14.18 to confirm that the power to recoup audit costs does not apply to audits in the ordinary CCA process.

Consultation on the terms of the 2010 Standard Civil Contract has finished. The most recent consultation covered the Family Specification, which has now been finalised. The Immigration and Mental Health specifications also contain new rights to claim interim payments of disbursements.

We keep providers updated about information affecting the contract via the CLS news page.

Standard Terms

The Standard Terms govern the underlying relationship between the LSC and Providers.  The purpose of these Standard Terms 2010 is to have a generic set of terms, which apply to the Legal Services Commission’s three main face-to-face contracts :

These 2010 Standard Terms are based on those already used in the current crime and civil Unified Contracts, updated and revised as appropriate. There has also been some restructuring of the contract documents to reinforce the Standard Terms’ role as the home for all the key terms governing the relationship between the providers and the LSC.  The attached Guide to the Standard Terms gives an overview of the key provisions and sets out in table form the basis of each Clause.


The Specification sets out all the rules for carrying out and being paid for civil Controlled and Licensed Work.  Much of the contents of the Specification reflect recent policy announcements. In particular:

A guide to the Specification is under documents. The Specification itself is divided into provisions of general application (sections 1 to 6) and category specific rules and payment schemes for Family, Immigration, Mental Health and all other categories (sections 7 to 10). There is also a Payment Annex which sets out all Standard and Graduated Fees and hourly rates payable under the Specification.


The Schedule is an important contract document which sets out provisions specific to an individual provider, including Matter Start allocations for Controlled Work. Although the contents of Schedules will vary between providers, a sample Schedule is under documents for illustration.    

Family Mediation Specification

The provision of Family Mediation is covered by a separate Specification, although this will still form part of the 2010 Standard Civil Contract. The 2010 Family Mediation Specification can be found under Documents.

Additional Documents

Category Definitions 2010 and Guidance on Category Definitions 2010

The Category Definitions 2010, which state which services fall into each Category of Law, are one of the key supporting documents referred to in both the 2010 Standard Crime and Civil Contracts and is available in the documents section; these replace the previous SQM Category Definitions. We have provided guidance on this document too, which can be located in the same section.

Equality and Diversity Guidance and Policy 2010

This outlines the LSC's equality and diversity guidance and policy that is referred to in the 2010 Standard Terms. You must have a copy of  this when carrying out work under the 2010 Standard Civil Contract.

The following documents are also referred to in the 2010 Standard Civil Contract:

We are currently updating these documents to ensure references to the 2010 Standard Civil Contract are correct and to make them more concise and easier to navigate (where applicable). Please continue to use the versions on the website until the updated set has been published. We will keep you informed of our progress.

The Data Security Requirements are new and will published shortly.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) guidance and summary grid for civil providers

KPIs are now contractually enforceable. The guidance and the summary grid sets out the rationale and KPIs applicable to providers under the current 2010 Standard Civil Contract, ie. those providers with contracts in Social Welfare Law, Mental Health, Low Volume Categories, and Immigration & Asylum. The guidance and summary grid can be found under the documents. It is strongly recommended that providers familiarise themselves with gudiance, summary grid and see the Civil Specification and Standard Terms for more detail.

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Last updated: 22 December 2010

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